National Study on Domestic Violence on Women in Tonga

Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili 

The Tongan study shows that violence against women is prevalent:
• 79% of Tongan women and girls have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.
• 68% of Tongan women and girls are affected by physical violence perpetrated by mainly their fathers or teachers.
• 33% of married or ever partnered women are victims of physical violence.
• 17% of married or ever partnered women are victims of sexual violence.
• 24% of married or ever partnered women are subject to emotional violence.
• Perpetrators of violence are just as likely to be well respected and educated Tongan men.
• 83% of women agreed that a good wife obeys her husband even if she disagrees.
• 56% of all respondents (women and men) agreed with the statement that a husband could beat his wife if she was unfaithful.
• Between 73% and 83% of women believe that a wife has the right to refuse sex if the husband is drunk, if she is sick, or if he mistreats her. Fewer women (61%) believe that a wife can refuse sex if she does not want to.

The results of the study highlight the perception among women that the domestic violence they experience is caused by:
• Shifting values of extended family life.
• Shifting nature of kinship relations.
• Extra-marital affairs.
• Alcohol.
• Living with the extended family.
• Hardship and economic factors.
• Being young and unprepared for married life.
• Having children outside of marriage.
• Gender roles and power dynamics between men and women in Tongan society.

Research Type(s)
Report – Not peer reviewed
Submitted by Toksave
March 23, 2021
Published in
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