MINISTER AKBAR CONCERN,
Speaker Dr Luveni stands by statement
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar says she is saddened by comments on domestic violence by Speaker to Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni. During the Rishikul Sanatan College Professional Development Programme held in Nasinu on Tuesday, Dr Luveni said that women sometimes aggravated a situation of domestic violence. Ms Akbar said such comments were inappropriate. She reiterated that the ministry did not tolerate or condone any form of violence against women and children or anyone.
“I believe there is never any excuse against violence.” She said victim blaming attitude was a barrier that placed survivors in great danger.
“Victim blaming attitude actually marginalizes victims. It makes it harder on them to come and report such cases of abuse because as a survivor or as a victim you may feel that the society blatantly blames you for the abuse or the violence that is inflicted upon you.” She added that by engaging in victim blaming attitude “we will only allow the abuser to perpetrate relationship abuse while avoiding accountability for his or her actions.” Ms Akbar acknowledged that while Fiji may have one of the best laws to curb violence against women and children, community leaders needed to work together.
“We all need to work together to see how best we can protect – not only our women and girls but also our children, our elderly, our disabled and all vulnerable group.” Ms Akbar is determined to continue the fight with the assistance of enforcement agencies like Police and civil society organizations.
She is also calling on all stakeholders to be responsible and to be mindful about what is said about an issue that is at the top of our national priority.