"Zero Tolerance for Violence"
Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific President Anusha Santhirasthipam writes about her recent visit to Fiji for the Project launch of Sanctuary: Shelter for Women.
Episode 2 - SISWP Presidential Work Tour & Project Launch in Fiji ( Tuesday 21st to Sunday 26th August 2018)
Second day of the Presidential Work Tour and Sanctuary: Shelter for Women Project Launch in Fiji involved visiting local Fiji Women's Crisis Centre for victims of rape, sexual abuse and violence.
Article by Anusha Santhirasthipam,
SISWP President 2018-2020.
Wednesday 22nd August 2018 - Meeting with Shamima Ali, Coordinator of Fiji Women's Crisis Centre for victims of rape, sexual abuse and violence.
We explored all the challenges and law reform systems and ongoing processes in Fiji to tackle GBV (gender-based violence). We discussed and agreed in principle for joint capacity building programmes for our local volunteers from SI clubs in Fiji who will be coordinating programmes for victims who occupy Soroptimist Sanctuary Shelters.
Fiji Women's Crisis Centres have established operations since 1992 developing services to assist women and children who are survivors of violence. They manage full support centres in Ba, Labasa and Rakiraki. Services include free and confidential, non-judgemental crisis counselling for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and sexual harassment; legal advice; accompany clients or referral of clients to court, police stations, hospitals and other agencies; helpline phone services; emotional surpport.
Also discussed partnership with SI Fiji for joint community education and public advocacy programme which includes talks, workshops and seminars on the issue of violence against women and children in Hindi, iTaukei and English; lobbying for law reforms together with Federation of Women's Crisis Centres and organising international and national campaigns.
We shared how we Soroptimists roll out effective public education and community awareness campaigns of gender-based violence and crimes against women and children.
Exemplified SISWP's signature Walk The Talk Programme successfully carried out every year since 2012 during UN 16 days of Activism to Eliminate Violence ( Nov 25 to Dec 10).
It is timely that we visited Fiji and facilitate our preparedness to tackle gender-based violence with broad spectrum and smart partnerships. We can step up and scale up nationwide in Fiji with the support of local expert partners.
SISWP President 2018-2020