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Men Top Lifeline Fiji Callers In Past 18 Months

Men Top Lifeline Fiji Callers In Past 18 Months
September 09
16:52 2017

More than 80 per cent of Lifeline Fiji’s 8283 callers between February 2016 and August 2017 were male callers.

Lifeline Fiji executive director, Archana Mani believes this is due to the presence of the national domestic violence hotline.

“I think the reason why our male callers are much higher is because there is a domestic violence helpline already for women – so maybe that’s where they’re calling,” Mrs Mani says.

“We’ve had about five or six cases on an annual basis of men who have been the victims of domestic violence – not necessarily by women but other males in their family.”

Mrs Mani also believes other social issues such as confusion over sexual orientation prompt male callers to reach out.

“Sexual orientation is a huge issue – a lot of young men are confused with their sexual orientation,” she says.

“We also get a lot of perpetrators of violence calling us and they want to get out of the cycle of violence.”

Lifeline Fiji’s “Men Talk” programme is an initiative encouraging men to fight traditional stigmas and reach out.

“According to cultural and traditional definitions of masculinity, men are supposed to be strong – you don’t show any emotion,” Mrs Mani says.

“We are providing safe spaces for men to have talanoa sessions on what’s hurting them and we’ve seen some really strong guys who are in security forces breakdown into tears,” she said.

The Lifeline director strongly encourages all those who are in crisis to seek help.

“The key issue we believe as an organisation that needs to be addressed, is the promotion of help-seeking behaviour in our Fijians,” Mrs Mani says.

“It needs to be looked into – it needs to be continuously emphasised that it’s okay to ask for help, that it’s okay not to be okay.”

If you need help in a crisis, call the Lifeline on 132 454.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  kogo.fujiki@fijisun.com.fj

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