The Fijian Government has a “Zero Tolerance Policy” towards violence against women and children in Fiji. 
These were the words of the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa while officiating at the declaration of Viani Village as a  Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community (ZTVFC). Vuniwaqa explained to those present at the event the purpose of the  Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community (ZTVFC) programme, which aims to empower and educate the communities in taking action to stop violence in their communities.

Vuniwaqa said that the Fijian Government will continue to address the issue of violence against women and the costs it bears to our Government. She also stated that violence against women and children in our communities is unacceptable and also a huge barrier to the development of our country.  

Vuniwaqa also said in her address that women facing domestic violence are seeking pathways to legal advise, reassurance, emergency shelter and emotional support. However, most of the victims are often left with the only option to return to a violent household in the absence of any of these forms of support and care.

Viani is one of the nine villages in the district of Navatu in the province of Cakaudrove. The village has a total number of fifty eight households and their main sources of income are fishing and farming, and supplementary sources of income includes copra production. In May 2015, Viani was identified as a hot spot area by the Police during an awareness program at Wailevu District  on the topic of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse. The first of the ten phases of training’s under the ZTVFC programme was conducted in 2015, and the remaining training’s were conducted phase by phase.

Viani Women’s Group Secretary, Mrs Akisi Wasevanua, 53, said that the ten phases of  training was an eye opener for them and it will help the men and women to know the importance of women’s empowerment and safety in a community. 

Viani Village headmen,  Mr Petero Biautubukoso, 45, thanked the Ministry for enlightening the men in the community about domestic violence. He said that all the domestic violence cases will now be reported to the gatekeepers and they will work together as a community to eliminate violence against women and children.

Hon Vuniwaqa mentioned that the Ministry will have to maintain a collaborative approach and strengthen the relationships between stakeholders, faith based organisation, men,  women’s groups and community members in combating violence against women and children in Fiji. She said that women and children can call the toll-free telephone number 1560 to receive assistance, which is a 24 hour service.

The Viani Villagers were also  reminded during the ‘Talanoa Session’ about the women’s economic empowerment programmes, the newly introduced Insurance for Social Welfare Recipients, Bus Fare Scheme, Disability Allowance, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Family Care Leave and the Free Medicine programme.  

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Fiji TV Subscribe

Don't miss the HSBC Sevens Series LIVE on Fiji One.