ROKO tui Cakaudrove Ro Aca Mataitini is urging all village headmen and church leaders on Taveuni to prioritise the needs of women and children on the island.
Yesterday, a team from the Cakaudrove Provincial Council office visited Naselesele village to inform people on the roles of women and children in a family.
"Women and children are important people in our families because they are the motivating factors of success," Ro Aca said.
"Most of us fail to understand their roles in our own families and for that matter, we tend to abuse them," he said.
"In trying to stop violence and abuse, the council is urging the headmen and leaders to make the first move in recognising their values," he added.
Ro Aca said they aimed to change the mind-sets of rural dwellers as most of them had been stigmatised with traditional and cultural values.
"Some of us still think women don't have a say in decisionmaking and children are not important but we are wrong," he said.
"We aim to make Cakaudrove a crime-free province by visiting every village and settlement to inform them about a message of change.
"It's not easy to change people's lives but it takes sacrifice and hard work for the purpose of improving the standard of living in the province," he added.
The team also visited Lavena, Bouma, Waitabu, Somosomo and Welagi villages.