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Need for change

Shalveen Chand
Friday, January 17, 2014

THE mind-set of the younger generation is changing, however, there is a need for systematic improvements in the response to violence from social and legal institutions, says the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre.

The centre said two surveys — one in 1999 and another in 2011 — showed a reduction in physical violence towards women.

In comparison, the 1999 survey found that 66 per cent of the 1500 women surveyed were subjected to physical abuse by their partners compared to 66 per cent in the 2011 survey.

FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali said the 1999 survey may have underestimated the prevalence of physical violence further supporting the conclusion that rates of physical violence had been reduced.

"The best example is how the survey was conducted in 1999.

"That survey didn't include questions on pushing and shoving, pulling of hair, throwing something at the woman, dragging, choking, burning, or threatening her with a weapon," said Ms Ali.

"Now all these were included in the 2011 study, so you can imagine if these questions were asked in 1999, there would have been a marked difference in the rates of prevalence of physical violence.

"In 2006 there was a research on attitudes to women's rights and tolerance for violence, and the overwhelming conclusion was that most people believed that if a woman is beaten, she must have done something wrong and deserved the ill-treatment."

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