FIJI: Chiefs, Village Elders to Tackle Abuse

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Fiji Times
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

For the first time, abuse of women and children will become a focal point of discussion at the Cakaudrove Provincial Council meeting in Yaroi this week.

The revelation by police that the northern division has the highest number of sexual assault cases is alarming according to the Roko Tui Cakaudrove Ro Aca Mataitini.

Ro Aca said the issue needs to be tackled head on.

"We have been hearing about the cases that have been coming out of Cakaudrove and it is serious," he said.

"It's time for leaders of the vanua to make a stand and influence decisions made about the issue in their districts."

A representative of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has been invited to speak at the meeting.

FWCC Co-ordinator Shamima Ali said the centre viewed discussions on the issue at provincial council levels as progress.

"I think this is the kind of publicity this crime should get," he said.

Police spokesperson Atunaisa Sokomuri said the Northern Division had the highest rate of sexual offences nationally.

"Its not just Cakaudrove alone we seem to have more cases arising from the Labasa district," he said.