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Contestant Takes Strong Stand Against Domestic Violence

The hardest thing for any child to go through in a family is witnessing domestic violence. This was the sentiment shared by 22-year-old Viliame Tawanakoro, a king contestant who will
17 Jul 2016 08:32
Contestant Takes Strong Stand Against Domestic Violence
2016 Vodafone Hibiscus Festival King contestant Mr Rentokil Intial, Viliame Tawanakoro. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The hardest thing for any child to go through in a family is witnessing domestic violence.

This was the sentiment shared by 22-year-old Viliame Tawanakoro, a king contestant who will be participating at the Vodafone Hibiscus Festival.

He said he witnessed his mother psychically abused by his father at the age of five.

“The experience was horrific, I was lost, I cried myself to sleep most nights thinking about it,” he said.

“I was also a victim of domestic violence both mentally and spiritually.”

He said it had got worse when his mother remarried and experienced the same thing.

“But now my mum is happy, she is smiling more and I finally have the courage to share my story and make a difference in some else’s life,” he said.

Mr Tawanakoro said it was not easy talking about domestic violence, it was usually kept bottled up inside him.

“I thank Vodafone Hibiscus Festival  for giving me an opportunity to advocate on domestic violence against women and girls,” he said.

He said his dad was a changed man from the experience and they have a better relationship.

“I encourage all youths in Fiji to don’t give up or think of suicide if you are experiencing something similar,” he said.

“Use that avenue to focus on working harder in school, talk to community leaders, a trusted friend and seek support from relevant authorities.

“For me, I was motivated to take up social work studies at the University of the South Pacific to help other youths who are experiencing the same thing.”

Mr Tawanakoro is sponsored by Rentokil Intial Fiji.

There are 11 contestants vying for the king’s title at this year’s Vodafone Hibiscus Festival.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  christine.nikola@fijisun.com.fj

 

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