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Consequences of Family Violence on the Health Sector in Tonga

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16 April 2013 Speech by the Director of Health, Dr. Siale ‘Akau'ola at the Opening Ceremony of the International Women's Day Media Workshop which was held at the Basilica Conference Room on 12 April 2013.

This workshop is facilitated by the Ministry of Internal Affair's Women Affairs Division, and will be conducted from 15-19 April 2013.

Transcript of Dr. ‘Akau'ola's Keynote Speech:

Fakatapu Ki he Otua Mafimafi

Joe Leota Arch Deacon of Anglican church

CEO MIA (Lopeti Senituli)

Stephanie Edmond Trainer NZ Social Development Department

International Women's  Day National Planning Committee

Thank you for inviting me to the Workshop for "up skilling journalists and advocates on reporting family violence". Ko hono fakamasila'i ange ‘a e taleniti ‘oe kau faiongoongo ken au tokoni mai ki hono lipooti e ngaahi fakamamahi ‘oku hoko ki he ngaahi loto'i famili.

Theme for IWD for 2013- Real stories, real women, breaking the silence that allows violence.

Koe kaveinga : Ko e ngaahi nunu'a ki he mo'ui ‘ae fakamamahi pe fakapopula  ‘oku hoko tonu ‘i he ngaahi famili pe ngaahi ‘api ‘i Tonga ni.

Visone ‘a e Pule'anga Tonga TSDF2011-2014: To develop and promote a just, equitable and progressive society in which the people of Tonga enjoy good health, peace, harmony and prosperity in meeting their aspirations in life.- Sector wide extensive consultations,

Ke fakatupulekina mo faka'ai'ai ha sosaieti ki he kakai Tonga ‘oku ma'u ai ‘ae fakamaau totonu, vahe vahe taau e faingamalie, fakatupu fakalakalaka ki he mo'ui pea ke ‘inasi ‘ae Tonga kotoa ‘i he  mo'ui lelei, nofo melino mo ma'uma'uluta pea tu'umalie fe'unga ke malava ke ne ikuna'i e ngaahi me'a mahu'inga ‘oku taumu'a ‘aki ‘ene mo'ui lolotonga ‘ene mo'ui ‘i mamani !!.

Mahino ‘aupito mei he visone koeni, ‘oku ‘ikai loto ha taha ia ‘i Tonga, ke fakamamahi'i ha taha ‘i ha famili, pe fakapopula'i pe faka'ilifia'i. Ka ‘oku hoko nai ?

National First Study on Domestic Violence against women in Tonga 2009 (by Dr Jansen, Dr Seuulua Fua, Betty Blake and G ‘Ilolahia for Ma'a Fafine moe Famili, funded by AusAID), which was launched by the Hon Prime Minister end of 2012 - there are disturbing statistics:

  • 45% of women reported having ever experienced at least one of the three types of violence- physical, sexual and emotional during lifetime.
  • 33% of married or ever partnered women are victims of physical violence in lifetime
  • 2/3 of women reporting being physically violated in lifetime reported severe violent acts such as hit with fist, kick, dragged, beaten up, choked, burned or having a weapon used against them.
  • 17% of married or ever partnered women had sexual violence in lifetime.
  • 24% of married or ever partnered women are subject to emotional violence.
  • 91% of women had experienced at least once during lifetime, controlling behavior of husband; with most common (87%) trying to know where she is all the time, controlling woman's access to health care (57%), keeping woman from seeing her friends (39%)
  • Percentage of women agreeing that it is justifiable for men to beat the wife if she can't bear a child (3%), is she is unfaithful (56%), if husband suspects unfaithfulness (33%), wife asks about husbands girlfriends (11%), wife disobeys him (17%), housework not completed (7%) , wife refuses sex (8%).

Koe ngaahi fika eni kau he lahi taha he Pasifiki !!

‘I he savea tatau ‘oku ‘iai ‘ae ngaahi fakamatala ‘ae kau fefine na'e ma'u mai he talatalanoa moe kau fakatotolo; pea na'e hiki mai ia pea ‘oku ou fie vahevahe atu e taha ke tau ki'i tu'u si'i ange ‘o fakakaukau kiai pe na'e anga fefe liliu ‘ae ‘ofa'anga ia ‘o toe fakamamahi'I pehe hono mali !!

Every night my husband would go out drinking kava and sometimes, he would get lucky with his friends and they would drink alcohol. When he would return, he would always expect that his dinner was ready and it would always have to be hot. This was hard for me because I did not have a stove, only the open fire outside so I tried my best to keep the food warm for if it was cold when he arrived he would throw the food , plate, bowl and spoon at me. One night, he came home and started talking to me. I didn't understand what he was saying so I asked him what he was talking about. This maddened him so he got angry stood up, grabbed me by the neck. I couldn't breathe because he was choking me very hard. Luckily my brother in law who lives next door saw us and he ran and punched my husband. I was just lucky to escape alive.

‘Oku ou tui ‘oku ‘ikai ke ‘iai ha taha ia ‘e loto ke hoko ha me'a pehe ni ki ha taha ‘i Tonga ni !!

Pea koe husepaniti koeni na'a ne fai ‘ae me'a ni, ‘oku pau pe koe konga lahi ‘ene me'a na'e fai, na'e ‘ikai ke ne lava ‘o fakakaukau'i lelei pea ne toki fai. Na'e fai ta'e fakakaukau he na'e ‘ikai ke ne lava ‘o fakamaumau, ‘ikai ke lave ‘o talanoa lelei mo hono mali, pea na'e uesia ia he'e inu kava malohi. Te tau toe fehu'i pe, pe ‘oku ki'i puke faka'atamai nai he taimi tatau ?

(through Talanoa concept as part of qualitative methodology of research)

Lipooti ‘ae Police Commissioner ‘I heene address ‘ae Advocacy Strategies for advancing legislative change to address violence against women (17 May 2010)2000-2009, there were 2753 women recorded as victims of violence for physical abuse and sexual assaults. On average 23 women every month for 10 years !! Majority were assaulted domestically includes: grievously bodily harm, rape, indecent assault, injury and wounding. It does include emotional abuse, verbal abuse and others. These statistics also do not include 4 women who died from murder and manslaughter in 2009 in separate domestic incidents, which together was a record for gender based violence for Tonga !!

‘I he ngaahi fika ‘ae potungaue mo'ui, ‘oku tokosi'I pe foki ‘ae ngaahi fika ia ‘oku lekooti koe tupu mei he ta pe fakalavea ‘i he lotoi famili pea ‘oku lipooti faka taha pe ia moe ngaahi fika ki he lavea kehe. ‘I he 2010, na'e mate ai ‘e toko 553 na'e hoko pea lekooti he ngaahi falemahaki ‘ae Pule'anga. Koe 18 ai koe tupu mei he lavelavea kehe kehe fakatupu ‘e he ngaahi me'a kehekehe pe ia.

Ihe 2010, na'e lekooti ‘I he uooti tafa e ngaahi fika koeni: kakai na'e tokoto koe tupu ‘ehe langa kete koe 285, lavea kehekehe pe 222, lavea mei he fakatu'utamaki he halapule'anga- 15, ngaahi infection tupu mei he suka moe ala me'a pehe- 159, ngaahi mahaki kehe 371.

Na'e ‘ikai foki ke lava ke lekooti hangatonu pe ‘ae kakai koia na'e lavea mei he domestic violence ke faingofua hano ‘iloi. E pau toki iloi pau ia ka fai ha kumi fakataautaha pe ‘ae ngaahi saati.

Koe ha hono ola ki he moui:

Ki he fanau:

Amelika 3.3 million kids witness domestic violence every year. Affects children emotionally, socially and behaviorly. They can become aggressive, anxiety, can't socialize with friends, family and authority. Can lead to depression, attitude problems and later to more violence in later life. PTSD in children can develop.

Women - Some say that 60% will develop depression later, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks.

Financially: victims are deprived and can't leave the perpertrators.; usually end up with many kids to support no skills developed etc.

Responders: vicarious traumatization.

Causes:

Personality traits, poor impulse control, personality disorders some say 80% cases(men causinng violence)  send to court; more violence men the disorder rate go up to 100%

Alcohol

Mental illness

Etc etc.

Perceptions (thinking)- UNICEF study of women 15-49 year old- "is it justified for husbands to hit wife ?"

-        Western countries- most say no !!

-        Jordan, 90% say OK !!

-        Zambia, Laos, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone- >80% of surveyed say OK !!

Laws:

UAE in 2010 has a law that says it is OK for husbands to physically discipline wives as long as no marks is left to be seen !!

According to women in Tonga who were surveyed at the Domestic violence survey of 2009-2011 this is how we can solve them:

1. Need the nuclear family; to prevent extended family interference with wife's needs

2. Conflict resolution to be developed in families

3. Better management of family's resources

4. Children as priority for husband and wife as mitigating factor to family violence

5. Maintain a balanced relationship with extended family

6. Law enforcement were considered to be a last resort since it does not help with sustaining relationships at home

7. Education and faith

Koeha ‘ae fale'I ‘ae WHO- Regional Framework for Action on injury and violence prevention for WPacific Region;

1.4 million deaths a year due to violence and injuries

304,000-              RTA

132,000-              drowns

116,000               falls

76,000                  poison

67,000                  interpersonal violence (5% deaths due to violence and injuries)

20,000                  burns

Has significant lifelong physical and psychological consequences

Expect rise in developing countries but falls in western countries

Worse in younger age

Profound effects in families in terms of productivity and poverty

Behind each death are many more non-fatal injuries

Violence prevention-

Countries to set targets

Commitment at highest levels

Budget from donor and government

Need an Action plan/policies and legislations (like RTA and alcohol legislations)

Data collection - on deaths, types of injuries, causes, prevention,

-        Information system, research, violence against women data

Services:              pre-hospital care, counseling, law and order, rehabilitation

Monitor impact of intervention.

Capacity building              - HR development

Net work and development

Share best practice

Advocacy             - Guide public with correct information

Support work of other sectors

Prevent violence by identifying precipitating factors

Prevent violence in mentally ill people

Strengthen response for victims of violence

Promote gender and social equity

Promote protection of human rights

Intensify collaboration and exchange of information on violence prevention

Reduce drugs and alcohol related violence

Seek practical internationally agreed responses to the global trade of arms and drugs

Suicide prevention.

Koe anga pe ena e ki'i poupou ki he kaveinga he ‘aho ni pea fakatauange te tau lava ke ausia e visone a'e Puleanga etc etc

Vision- clear need to work together, need to change our mind set, since thinking leads to what we say, what is said is usually what is done (actions) , actions leads to consequences.

Malo

ENDS

Issued by the: Ministry of Information and Communications, Nuku'alofa, 2013 - Authorised by Dr. Siale ‘Akau'ola, Director, Ministry of Health.

 

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