FWCC acting research manager Natasha Nair during the launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women campaign at the Tanoa Plaza, Suva. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

SUVA, 11 MARCH 2022 (FIJI TIMES) — Only 34 of the 870 perpetrators of rape recorded by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) between 2016 and December 2021 were strangers to the survivors.

These were the words from FWCC acting research manager Natasha Nair who spoke on the alarming statistics of domestic violence and rape that were being recorded in Fiji, at the FWCC International Women’s Day vigil on Tuesday.

Nair said of the 870 perpetrators, only 34 or four percent were unknown to the survivors, 836 or 96 per cent were known and 639 or 76 percent were related to the survivors.

She said there were 818 survivors, 225 child rape survivors, 483 marital rape survivors and 110 other women survivors.

She also said in 2021 the FWCC and its branches received a total of 9478 cases and out of this 6864 or 73 percent were domestic violence cases.

“These numbers are very concerning as these domestic violence cases are indicators of the high incidence of violence women are experiencing across Fiji,” she said.

Nair said the FWCC remembered the 41 women who had lost their lives to domestic violence from 2014 to 2022.

Meanwhile, tackling the increasing cases of non-communicable disease (NCD) in Fiji could begin with pregnant women, said Ministry of Health and Medical Services head of health Dr Devina Nand at the Wellness and NCD consultation workshop in Suva this week.

She said it was about time that stakeholders started to think outside the box about ways to address this concerning issue.

“The question also is how do we take care of our pregnant women in our communities,” Dr Nand said.

“Because taking care of that pregnant woman means you will be taking care of that baby that’s going to be born, making sure that this woman is eating healthy and getting the right type of exercise and getting the right environment for conducive mental health.”

She said the ministry was always at the receiving end.

“Health only gets the end output. So we get the disability, we get the complications, we get the disease and then we try and fix things going backwards.

“And that really is not working.

“So let’s fix things at the starting point. Fixing things in the community and providing them literacy and avenues where they can remain healthy.

“If we expose children to alcohol and smoking environment, that to them is a norm and it is about the mindset and society to have a visionary approach.” …PACNEWS

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