Ali: Fiji’s rate of domestic violence injuries among highest in the world

Feminist and human rights activist Shamima Ali. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI’S rates of injury because of domestic violence are one of the highest in the world, says Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali.

Ms Ali said according to Fiji’s 2007 Census, there were 189,385 women aged 18-64 who were ever in an intimate relationship with a man.

And using the data from this survey, she said it was possible to estimate the number of women affected by partner violence each year, each week and each day.

Ms Ali revealed that 15,725 women suffer from injuries each year, an average of 302 women every week, or 43 women every day because of violence by their husband or partner.

However, she said only about one in 10 of these women will tell a health worker the true cause of their injury.

She says 312 women will become permanently disabled (six every week or almost one every day), 3682 women will be physically assaulted so severely that they lose conscious (71 each week or 10 every day), 5678 women will need health care for their injuries (109 each week of about 16 each day), 10733 women will have eardrums broken or eye injuries (206 per week or about 29 every day), 1872 women will have a bone fractured or broken (36 every week or 5 each day), 1622 women will have sprains or dislocations (31 each week or 4 days each day) 437 women will suffer from burns (8 each week or 1 each day) and 936 women will have their teeth broken (18 each week or 3 every day).

“Service providers, traditional and church leaders, families and friends need to ensure that they do not condone, excuse or tolerate the violence,” she said.