Women urged to muster the courage to speak up

Picture: FILE

A SENIOR medical officer yesterday reminded women that they must lodge a report with the police if they are abused at home.

Speaking at the launch of a faith-based program Preventing Violence Against Women in Fiji’s Faith Settings (PVAWFFS) initiative at Wailoku yesterday, Doctor Joji Naqaravatu said women must muster the courage to be able to speak up, voice their opinion and report to the authorities if they are in an abusive relationship.

Mr Naqaravatu also highlighted a few examples on how few women from a certain area would visit the Nuffield Clinic in Tamavua for treatment after being abused by their partner or husband. Dr Naqaravatu said it was mandatory for medical officers to immediately report abuse cases to police.

While officiating at the event, officer-in-charge at Samabula Police Station, Assistant Superintendent of Police Vilimoni Komairasea reminded parents of their duty of care.

He said parents must ensure that their children were well looked after and they must provide a safe environment — one that was free from violence and danger — for them to live in.

The PVAWFFS program uses faith-based approaches to encourage gender equality and prevent violence against women and girls that are often accepted as normal — a “social norm” — in Fijian society.

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