National study on violence against women in Tonga

Initiated by Ma’a Fafine mo e Famili, and funded by the Australian government in 2008, this research project aimed to address the lack of data around violence against women in Tonga. It was  first time a large-scale quantitative and qualitative study on this topic had been conducted in Tonga. The study also includes recommendations for preventing and ending violence against women and girls.

Selected statistics

  • 40% of women who had ever been in an intimate relationship had experienced physical and/or sexual violence from their partner or husband in their lifetime.
  • 87% of ver-partnered women reported having to tell their husbands or partners where they were at all times.
  • 57% of women had to ask their husband or partner’s permission before seeking healthcare for themselves.
  • 77% of women reported experiencing physical and/or sexual violence from someone other than their husband or partner during their lifetime.
  • Between 73% and 83% of women believe a woman has a right to refuse sex if the husband is drunk, if she is sick or if he mistreats her.
  • Almost half of the women who reported experiencing violence did not tell anyone.
  • 75% of women experiencing abuse never sought help from formal services or people in authority.