SPC Geoscience Division

Home News & Media Releases Latest SPC takes action on domestic violence by supporting staff

SPC takes action on domestic violence by supporting staff

E-mail Print PDF

media release

Domestic Violence Workshop

FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali addresses SPC staff on Domestic Violence

Suva, Fiji – In response to the death of an employee, Losana McGowan, earlier this year following an alleged domestic violence incident, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is taking action to build more awareness within the workplace.

“At SPC, we’re moving to ensure that our staff are better informed and that there are proper systems in place to provide resources and adequate support to staff who are experiencing domestic violence,” the Director of SPC’s Geoscience Division, Professor Michael Petterson, said.

A workshop was held this week in Suva by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC), as a pilot for SPC staff from the division that Losana had worked, to build on the healing process and awareness on the issues of domestic violence.

The workshop was led by FWCC Coordinator, Shamima Ali, following a request from SPC, and is part of the Centre’s ongoing outreach with many agencies and stakeholders.

“Our workshops help people develop a better understanding of domestic violence and issues relating to it, including gender power relations and their link to domestic violence, and to gain skills for appropriate responses to domestic violence,” Ms Ali said.

The workshop is just one action being taken by SPC to address this issue with its staff. SPC is updating its domestic violence policy, to make it more visible and relevant for staff. Its release will be accompanied by training for SPC staff to ensure that everyone is educated on these issues and better equipped to seek help or provide support to those who need it.

“The workshop gave staff an opportunity to discuss issues of domestic violence in a free and open setting. The training was well received, with many of our staff reporting that it made them more aware of the root causes of domestic violence and of the resources available in Fiji to seek help and support,” Prof Petterson said.

SPC also works externally to support Pacific Island countries and territories on the issue of domestic violence, through its Social Development Division. Over the past years, SPC has engaged its staff in the White Ribbon campaign, in which men take the stance of never to condone violence against women, across all offices to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

A 2013 report from FWCC identifies that in Fiji 64% of women who have ever been in an intimate relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a husband or intimate partner in their lifetime, and 24% are suffering from physical or sexual partner violence today (Somebody’s Life, Everybody’s Business, FWCC, 2013).



Media contacts

Clare White SPC Communication Officer, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or +679 3249 229

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 10:34  

Newsflash

Welcome to the first edition of Snapshots for 2013!

It's taken us a while but we've finally been able to get something together to give you some understanding of the work being undertaken by the SPC/SOPAC Disaster Reduction Programme. These are just tidbits of a wider range of initiatives, the developments of which, we hope to share with our readers over the course of 2013.

The year has gotten off to a bang but unfortunately not the kind that we would have wanted. The disasters that affected both Samoa and Fiji as a result of Tropical Cyclone Evan in December required some immediate attention early in January. Through a collaborative effort with the SPC/SOPAC Water and Sanitation Programme, we deployed two staff to assist Samoa's post disaster needs assessment . In February, we provided similar assistance to Fiji (just coming to completion as this goes to print so watch this space for news on the Fiji post disaster needs assessment). We also, per the tireless contribution of Litea Biukoto, were able to support post disaster assessment work in the Solomon Islands which was impacted by an earthquake and  tsunami in early February.

So, there's been no let up this - made even more interesting since other activities continue as scheduled. Alas, such is the life of those of us in this line of work. We have a number of interesting stories in this edition. The Pacific Disaster Net has reached a significant milestone; our work in French Polynesia is making significant progress; the B Envelope project continues to add another success to its portfolio of activities, and more.

I hope you enjoy reading our stories and please 'stay tuned' for more as we progress in the coming months.

Download Full Issue

Mosese Sikivou
Deputy Directory, Disaster Reduction Programme