Home Awardee Profiles Shaya Malini, University of The South Pacific

Shaya Malini, University of The South Pacific

Shaya’s Research Topic: Perceptions of Rural Indo-Fijian women on the Effectiveness and the Implications of the No Drop Policy in Fiji.

“The Pacific Islands have some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world, Fiji alone having a prevalence rate of 64% without overlooking the fact that most cases go unreported. In 1995, women’s movements in Fiji particularly the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre advocated for stronger responses and support for battling domestic violence which led to the Introduction of the No-drop Policy. The No-drop policy allows prosecutors to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence cases regardless of victim participation. However, despite the No-drop policy in place, the high prevalence of domestic violence continues to raise questions about the efficacy of the policy as this policy itself is debated by many feminists and academics. My research which is supported by the University of South Pacific and DevNet focuses on exploring the perceptions of rural women and stakeholders involved in the implementation process of the No-drop policy.

I chose rural women because there is very little research done on this policy globally and many studies have shown that rural women are more prone to domestic violence. I wanted a holistic view of the challenges women experienced when engaging with the No-drop policy and factors that restrained them from using such policies. My findings stated that factors such as cultural attitudes (mindset, lack of privacy and anonymity), family background and socio-economic factors (age, number of children and family support), patriarchy, isolation and geographic location limit women’s decision to report and engage with such policies.

I am very grateful for the grant provided by DevNet to assist me in my fieldwork which allowed me to interact with more participants and stay longer in Vanua Levu tapping into remote islands such as Taveuni which allowed me to gather promising data for this research. The information gathered in my research is a starting point for more studies in rural areas in relation to domestic violence policies and also will help me write other articles and meet with other NGOs that can use this data to assist more women in rural areas in terms of accessing justice systems.”

Shaya Malini, Masters researcher, University of The South Pacific

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