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Women have limited access to services

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, February 14, 2014

WOMEN in the Western Division are at a disadvantage when faced with situations of domestic violence and abuse, says Fiji Women's Crisis co-ordinator Shamima Ali.

"For women in Suva, there are numerous avenues and places they can go," she said.

"But for women in the West, access to services are limited and there are a number of issues including distance to travel, poverty and the tradition of not reporting any abuse they have been subjected to simply because it is frowned upon within their community."

Despite the hurdles, Ms Ali said her organisation continued to reach out to those living in remote areas.

"Our aim is to reach women in the interior or in the most remote areas and we are doing numerous awareness campaigns in these areas to get the message across."

Last year there were 1183 reported domestic violence issues compared to 1044 in 2012.

About 900 of these were reports from women in the Western Division with 380 cases in Nadi, 335 in Ba and 183 in Rakiraki.

Ms Ali said the increase in reports could be attributed to increased awareness of the issue and also the active involvement of stakeholders like the police, faith-based organisations and NGOs.

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