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Researcher says domestic violence in Niue not always reported

28 August 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

An assessment of domestic violence in Niue has found many women don't report violence or sexual violence to the police.

Erin Thomas, from the International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination, was in Niue recently for consultations with the Niue Police, justice department, council of women and community leaders.

She says under-reporting is a challenge. 

"Most cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse are never actually reported," she says. "It makes it hard to measure the actual problem because you can only get so much from anecdotal interviews."

Erin Thomas. Photo/ PRN.

Thomas says it can be difficult to speak openly in tight-knit communities.

"There's a big issue with confidentiality and people not really wanting to speak out and having a hard time creating a system where you can ensure safety," she says.

The 20-year-old researcher hopes to craft more unique ways to help fix the problem.

"Hopefully we get more information on attitudes and help to tailor even better solutions."