Survey shows high rates of gender violence in Fiji

Results from a national survey on violence against women and girls in Fiji were released last month, showing very high rates of sexual and physical assault both within and outside of relationships.

The report of the 2011 survey findings, titled Somebody’s life, everybody’s business [pdf], was published by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre with support from Australian aid.

The national household survey found that 64% of Fijian women who had ever been in an intimate relationship had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner in their lifetime.  Some 24% of respondents reported that they were suffering from physical or sexual partner violence at the time of the survey.

There were also high rates of non-partner abuse, with 31% of respondents being subjected to physical and/or sexual assault since the age of 15 by someone other than their husbands or partners.

Sexual assault rates were also high, with 29% of women reporting that their first sexual experience was either forced or coerced.

The detailed study, drawing on responses from more than 3000 household interviews, also examines the links between violence, women’s access to justice, health and other services and economic and social costs.

Ashlee Betteridge

Ashlee Betteridge is the Program Manager (Research Communications and Outreach) at the Development Policy Centre. She was previously a Research Officer at the centre from 2013-2017. A former journalist, she holds a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) from ANU and has development experience in Indonesia and Timor-Leste.

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