Fiji will soon have a new sanctuary for women and children who are victims of violence and natural disasters, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
Fiji's Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa raised concerns on the rape, violence and sexual assault cases in the island nation once known as the way the world should be.
"Culture must never be allowed to be used as a justification and must never be used as a platform to perpetuate violence in our homes," she said at a ground breaking ceremony in Lautoka.
The shelter, to be built a cost of around 200,000 Fijian dollars (about US$94,000), is an initiative of Soroptimist International of South West Pacific, and set to open its doors next year.
Vuniwaqa said Fiji has one of the highest statistics of domestic violence in the world.
"This has pushed Fiji to address domestic violence as a matter of national importance across all sectors," she added.
The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre said 64 percent of women who have been in intimate relationships have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partners, with 61 percent who were physically attacked and 34 percent, who were sexually abused.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK