No progress made with people living in fear
Lynda Tabuya says there can be no progress in Fiji when a significant portion of our population lives in fear and experiences violence within their own homes, schools, workplaces, recreational areas and places of worship.
The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation was deeply saddened by the recent spate of domestic violence that shook our nation over the past weekend.
She conveyed her condolences to the families of the late Nazmin Nisha who was allegedly murdered in Labasa and were mourning her death because of the tragic incident. “I stand with them and share in their grief,” Ms Tabuya said.
“The stabbing of another woman in Lautoka, serves as grim reminders of the urgent need to address the pervasive issue of gender-based violence against women and girls in our society.
“To the men who believe that violence is acceptable and a means of control and expression of masculinity, I warn you to reconsider your beliefs and actions.
“The law and the legal system will hold you accountable for your actions, ensuring that justice is served for all victims and survivors.
“Violence against women and girls including domestic violence is a crime. Violence is never a solution, and it can never be justified. Real strength lies in fostering respectful, healthy, and equitable relationships. Violence is a symptom of weakness and psychological wreck,” Ms Tabuya said.
Violence against women and girls is not a private matter but is now a national issue and crisis that demands our collective attention, action, and condemnation.
The call is out for all to recognise and uphold women’s rights.
“We cannot stand idle while our sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends suffer and their rights are being violated,” Ms Tabuya said.
“It is our duty to ensure every woman and girl feels safe and their rights are protected.
“To all Fijian women, girls, and individuals who are experiencing violence and abuse, I urgently implore you to take immediate action and reach out for support. The National Domestic Violence Helpline and National Child Helpline are dedicated to serving you, alongside our expert civil society partners.
“Do not hesitate to report perpetrators and seek assistance you deserve.
“Your courage in speaking up and seeking help is of utmost importance in breaking the cycle of gender-based violence.”
The National Domestic Violence Helpline number is 1560 while the National Child Helpline number is 1325.