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Fiji Time: 5:33 PM on Thursday 24 April

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15pc of pregnant women assaulted

By Shalveen Chand
Friday, December 27, 2013

ALARM bells should be ringing with the number of pregnant women being assaulted by their partners or their husbands, says the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre.

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali said their research has found that 15 per cent of pregnant women were physically assaulted during pregnancy.

"One in three were severely abused including being kicked in the stomach," said Ms Ali.

"Women who experienced physical or sexual violence were more likely to have a miscarriage than those who have not experienced violence.

"This is just not on. The most common cause is frustration and anger arising from jealousy because during pregnancy more attention is given to the woman."

Ms Ali said there was a need to get medical personnel more training so such symptoms could be noticed and reported to the police.

She said although the police had improved in dealing with such cases, more could be done to protect women.

"Almost half of the women living with their partners never tell anyone. What's more alarming is that four out of five women never seek help from the right agencies," Ms Ali said.

"Women involved in such partner violence relationships feel violence is a normal part of life and it's not a serious issue."

FWCC hopes to embark on an awareness campaign.