The domestic violence helpline 1-5-6-0 has received around 400 calls in the last month. [File Photo]
The domestic violence helpline 1-5-6-0 has received around 400 calls in the last month.
This is a significant increase leading to concerns of a surge in cases of violence against women and girls.
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali says calls to the helpline have tripled in light of the Suva lockdown and the COVID-19 restrictions.
Ali says while the Coronavirus counter measures are necessary, they have nonetheless hampered those in situations where there are perpetrators of violence and sexual assault within the home.
“And so definitely it’s increasing, of this, we have seen a total of about 160 domestic violence cases which is the highest, these are both people that are repeat ones and the new ones that are coming up. We’ve seen two rape cases, three attempted rape and we’ve got child sexual abuse and so on. But then we’re also getting you know calls for COVID-19 related things.”
Ali says along with the Ministry of Women, they have put in measures to ensure that should any woman or person trying to leave their home during the curfew hours to escape domestic violence is able to be assisted.
She adds that there are growing concerns that in the coming months, the domestic violence cases are likely to increase further given the social and economic impacts of COVID-19.
The domestic violence helpline 1-5-6-0 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Meanwhile, there is also a child helpline available 24/7 on 1325.
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Posted by FBC News on Tuesday, March 31, 2020