Violence against women, men ‘drastically different’

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Rakuita Vuniwaqa, Permanent Secretary Jennifer Poole and Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali with workshop participants. Picture: Supplied

MINISTER for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa says cases of violence against men should not be compared with those of women.

While speaking in Sigatoka yesterday, she said the incidences of women being victims to domestic violence were drastically different.

“While it is true that men can also be victims of such violence, statistics show that such incidences are negligible when compared with incidences where women are the victims,” she said.

“The ferocity, frequency and consistency of men’s violence against women are statistically and significantly higher.”

She said violence against women was also made worse by those who chose to stay silent.

“Gender-based violence in a domestic setting thrives in a shroud of silence.

“It is therefore important that we speak about it and that we discuss it at every opportunity.

“The message needs to be consistently loud, clear and unequivocal that violence against women and children is illegal and it needs to be punished. And if we don’t make that message consistently loud, clear and unequivocal now, we will run the risk of raising a generation of Fijians who will grow up thinking that gender-based violence can be justified in certain circumstances.”

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