‘Surge in violence expected’

Selina Kuruleca. Picture: FT FILE

Renowned local psychologist Selina Kuruleca says Fiji could expect an increase in domestic violence cases because of the socio-economic impact caused by COVID-19.

She said reduced working hours, loss of income, uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the restrictions associated with it, there could be an increase in domestic violence cases unless people learnt coping mechanisms.

She made the comment after parents took to social media to air their grievances.

Many said they were worried about sending their children to school after losing their jobs during the pandemic.

Ms Kuruleca said an expected increase in domestic violence was consistent with global trends.

She said people should learn to respect each other and have conversations that were the best fit for everyone in the home and more so for the welfare of children.

“The diagnosis of depression can only be made by trained professionals,” she said.

“If a parent is concerned that their child is not coping well, that their child has changed their behaviour and seems more withdrawn, self-isolating, more emotional outbursts, then please call the helplines like Lifeline Fiji, MSP, child helpline, Empower Pacific, Youth Champs for Mental Health and their local GP and school counsellor and get help.

“Students, like any young people, are resilient.

“As the adults, we need to validate the feelings that they have, allow them to ask questions, voice their opinions, then together devise a plan on how we can each support the other through this transition.

“This period will pass.

“Let’s work together, be kinder, be compassionate and in all our decisions let it always be for the safety, welfare and best interest of our children all the time.”

More Stories