More
than 500 women called the National Domestic Violence Helpline in the month of
April.

From
a total of 87 calls recorded in February, 187 calls were recorded in the month
of March with the numbers spiking to 527 in April.

The
figures correlate with an earlier statement made by the Police Commissioner
Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho who said that the number of domestic violence
reports have increased during the lockdown period.

Minister
for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa says there has
been a global rise in domestic violence and violence against women and children
during the COVID-19 outbreak and Fiji is no exception.

“There
was a significant increase in calls to the National Domestic Violence helpline
number 1560 during the month of April,” she said.

1560
recorded total of 87 calls in February and 187 calls in March. In April we had
527 genuine calls to the national helpline.

“66%
of the callers were women and 44% were men. 54% of calls were domestic violence
related and 30% related to COVID-19.

“Close
to 50% of cases reported are linked to COVID-19 such as restrictions of movement
and economic strains on families. Close to three-quarters of women reported
physical violence.”

The
greater Suva area was in lockdown for 14 days beginning April 8th.

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