Faith Reps Con­demn In­crease in Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence

Fiji Sun - - Nation - NEE­LAM PRASAD Edited by Percy Kean

Are­li­gious leader has strongly con­demned in­creas­ing cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the coun­try. Fiji Mus­lim League pres­i­dent Hafizud Khan said re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tions pro­vided coun­sel to men and women who sought their as­sis­tance to re­solve do­mes­tic is­sues. “Men must have re­spect and tolerance,” Mr Khan said. “They need to re­mem­ber that they come from their moth­ers, that they have sis­ters and daugh­ters and so they must re­spect women.

“Women also must know that they can­not con­tinue to be abused and they need to act quickly if they are be­ing vic­timised.”

Of­fer­ing help

Speak­ing on the re­cent al­leged mur­der cases where women were the vic­tims, Mr Khan said there was a need to put re­strain on the idea of mur­der or sui­cide.

“Peo­ple see an in­ci­dent and they think they can do it too so we must re­strain this,” he said.

Mr Khan added the help­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims also meant mak­ing them self-re­liant.

“We run very strong so­cial work pro­grammes in terms of look­ing af­ter women. We have girls’ hos­tels and we have a vo­ca­tional cen­tre where train­ing is pro­vided to women who were abused or are go­ing through poverty or separation,” he said.

“We pro­vide them with some form of pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment and train­ing so they can go and earn for themselves. And it’s for all women, not only Mus­lims. “The idea is to make women have faith in themselves, that they can sur­vive with or with­out men,” he added.

Mr Khan has also asked Govern­ment min­istries to pro­vide coun­selling train­ing for re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tions, so­cial groups and even vil­lage heads.

“It’s not nec­es­sar­ily that just be­cause you are a re­li­gious leader, you are qual­i­fied,” he said.

“We should have peo­ple who are able to re­late to those seek­ing help and and in­ter­act at a level that they be­come con­fi­dent enough to be guided by them.”

Methodist Church of Fiji and Ro­tuma

Men need to break free from the stigma that to dis­cuss their prob­lems is a weakness says Methodist Church’s sec­re­tary for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and over­seas mis­sion Rev­erend Wil­fred Re­gu­na­mada.

He said men of­ten did not dis­cuss the prob­lems at home be­cause of the mas­culin­ity is­sue.

“They do not want to be seen as a weak per­son, so they do not share their prob­lems with any­one, but it is eat­ing them from within,” Rev­erend Re­gu­na­mada said.

He made the re­marks in response to the in­creas­ing cases of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and mur­der/sui­cide cases in Fiji. “If there are do­mes­tic is­sues, men should be­gin to seek help from their churches, get ad­vice and coun­selling from faith-based or­gan­i­sa­tions, el­ders or friends,” he said.

“It is dif­fi­cult to han­dle any­thing alone. “Bravery and courage come when a man ac­knowl­edges the prob­lems he is go­ing through and seeks help. That is a healthy way of deal­ing with a prob­lem or else it will just build-up in­side and will be­come be­yond con­trol one day.” He has given the same ad­vice to women.

“It is okay for women to seek help and it is okay for her to make a de­ci­sion to flee from the sit­u­a­tion she is in for the safety of her life,” he said.

“This is not a joke any­more. A wo­man leav­ing a hus­band was stig­ma­tised be­fore too but women need to re­alise their lives are im­por­tant and within a re­la­tion­ship what comes first is self-care.

“When a per­son can look af­ter themselves, then only will he/she have the ca­pac­ity to look af­ter another per­son. “If there is a sign of threat, go to the Po­lice,” he added. Rev­erend Re­gu­na­mada also re­vealed the Methodist Church had a women’s depart­ment looked af­ter by a female min­is­ter where vic­tims could seek help.

“Any do­mes­tic vi­o­lence victim re­gard­less of race or reli­gion, if they would like to share what they are go­ing through, get coun­selling, or to deal with post trau­matic stress, they can al­ways come to the Methodist church’s women’s depart­ment,” he urged.

All di­vi­sions have a women’s depart­ment within the church. He added there were more than 500 min­is­ters all across the coun­try that could also be ap­proached for ad­vice and coun­selling on do­mes­tic is­sues.

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