The worldwide day focuses on the need to end violence against women. This year it fell on Sunday, November 25 and local police took the opportunity to demonstrate their active role in helping the cause.
Through prevention and enforcement, police officers are being challenged every day to “break the silence and end the violence”.
Violence against women, and children, or domestic violence, is a dark and hidden crime that demands recognition and exposure for what it is – the most dangerous threat to women globally.
A United Nations study released to coincide with the weekend anniversary found that domestic violence is the most common killer of women around the world.
Every hour, somewhere in the world, six women are killed by someone they know, and more than 50 per cent of the cases involve partners or family members.
It’s a continuing issue both in the wider Pacific, and in the Cook Islands, and those involved in counselling and welfare say there are many problems involving violence against women on Rarotonga.
The problems largely stem from dysfunctional relationships affected by alcohol and finances, as well as issues around extended family and personal associates.
Unfortunately, there is strong evidence to show that victims themselves have great difficulty in pursuing prosecutions to the end.
The majority of cases in fact are dropped without any penalty despite police in the Cook Islands adhering to a “no drop” policy.