The WCCC sends a huge MALO ‘AUPITO (thank you) to those individuals, organisations, associations and groups who have made the following donations to the Centre;


  • The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, His Excellency Andrew Ford’s step-sister who donated $150 cash which contributed towards the Christmas Goodie Boxes given to WCCC’s clients were most in need in Christmas.
  • Her Excellency Sarah Walsh the New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Tonga and her staff for donating the kids corner toys box for counselling section

¨ Manager and Staff of Village Mission Pharmacy donating $400  to use towards clients’ needs for treatments and consultant in their clinic

¨ Manager and staff of Pac Trade for donating the Safe House four boxes of milk powder tin.


sarah donation




Comment from the Director

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all our readers and new readers who have just come on board!  It’s been a challenging year at the WCCC with an increase in clients being referred to the safe house (it normally averages between 40-50 clients per year).

This year (as of 22 December) we have had a record number of 108 clients who fled from unsafe and violent homes seeking temporary accommodation.

As we head into the Christmas period our hope is that the numbers will not increase.  We all have a responsibility to keep each-other safe and free from violence from within our own homes, our own extended families, our communities and villages, our churches, our youth, our workplaces and wherever we are during this festive season.

We’ve also all tallied up the numbers of our new clients for 2016, and as of 22 December, we have more than 320 new clients seeking assistance at the WCCC.

What we know from violence against women and girls statistics is that these numbers are just the tip of the ice-burg and that the reality is sitting at almost 10x the number we have recorded—not forgetting that the numbers we have recorded are mainly for Tongatapu only.  So, we have set ourselves a new challenge for 2017, we will be extending our services to the outer-islands through a mobile-counselling system that will extend our services to the outer islands.  We will keep you updated!  Remember our number 22240 we have staff working through the Christmas period if you want to refer someone for help or to the Safe House — just call us!

‘Ofa atu


Keeping Children Informed

The WCCC continued to do its ongoing school awareness programs to both primary and secondary schools.

“Children need to be reminded constantly of their safety and security rules which assist in protecting them from any abuse situation. They are also informed of the good and bad touches. They are urged and encouraged to report, if there is anything suspicious, or that they are uncomfortable with. They have to recognise this and tell someone that they trust”, said Community Educator, Lesila To’ia.

For the secondary schools, the students are encouraged to talk about challenges that they face that have an impact on their learning.  Violence in the home is talked about as one of those challenges and even violence in relationships.

“It is very important for children to make informed choices about their future and their lives but more importantly how to seek help if they are in a violent relationship or they are living in a violent environment,” said Soana Pongi, WCCC Youth and Children Advocate.

Students are also encouraged to look at and develop positive non-violence conflict resolutions which they can use as a way of  ending the cycle of violence that they are accustomed to at home.

Deputy Principal of Vaini Government Middle School Branch said the WCCC’s visit was timely, “we have experienced and witnessed many social problems amongst the children increasing, and it affects their learning so this information is critical so that they can be empowered to seek help and speak out if they are being abused.”


7th Meeting of the Pacific’s Women’s Network Against Violence Against Women

Five participants from the Tonga Women and Children Crisis Centre attended the 7th meeting of the pacific women’s network against violence against women in Fiji.

The Network first met in 1992 with 15 representatives from 15 Pacific countries.  The 7th meeting , 24 years later gathered more than 60 members from across the pacific who work in the area of EVAW.  The meeting looked back at the last four years since the 6th meeting.  It was a regional discussion of the network’s achievements, the barriers and challenges.  An agreed outcomes document for the way forward was also developed.  Each country  was also able to identify its own achievements and gaps to be improved, and the need for ongoing support, and strong partnerships in this area of work.

“we also made tributes to human rights defenders and activists who had passed away over the last four years, yet their legacy remains with the network. They have passed on leaving us now to continue this good but hard work,” said Lesila To’ia the WCCC’s staff team leader who attended the There was also space given to the West Papuan delegation. Attending the meeting to tell their stories.  As a result a great sense of solidarity was felt amongst the network with strong linkages made between the countries with the West Papuan women.

Facilitating the meeting was the WCCC Director ’Ofakilevuka Guttenbeil LIkiliki, Shamima Ali  FWCC Coordinator and VWC’s Coordinator Merilyn Tahi.

The meeting agreed to have the network regional meeting every two years.

The meeting was held at Sigatoka’s Warwick Resort in August for one week.



UN WOMEN Regional Consultation on the Prevention of Violence Against Women

WCCC Director, ‘Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki and WCCC Youth Advocate, Soana Pongi were fortunate to take part in this year’s Pacific Regional Consultation on Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls. The consultation was held in Nadi, Fiji from the 12th to 14th of September. The objectives of the consultation were:

  • Engage in critical conversations and knowledge sharing on current approaches to violence prevention.
  • Strengthen the collective understanding of what a transformational approach to violence prevention includes
  • Develop principles to guide Primary Prevention work in the Pacific

A series of panel discussions was carried out to identify current approaches to violence prevention from all over the Pacific.  Guttenbeil-Likiliki presented in one of the panel discussions: “The Role of Service Delivery in Prevention Violence Against Women”.

“What I presented was the fact that response and prevention work cannot be done in isolation from each other and that both should be carried out in unison for the most meaningful impact,” said Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

The most significant outcome of the consultation was the development of 6 core principles to guide Primary Prevention in the Pacific.

These Core Principles states that Primary prevention must be Accountable to women and girls, DO NO HARM, Human Rights Based Approach, Inclusive, Gender Transformative and Informed by Context.

“The Do No Harm Principle seems like a simple principle but it is in fact one of the core failures of many EVAW programs throughout the Pacific and we need to be more careful moving forward,” said Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

jo fiji

Connecting with the Peace Corps

One of the Peace Corp Volunteers thanked the WCCC for its works. This was during WCCC’s session in which it was invited to do a presentation to the new recruits on Gender and WCCC’s services.

The volunteers asked a lot of questions also raised a good, lengthy discussions. Questions around CEDAW also violence against transgender people were discussed. Legislation around Corporal Punishment of school children was a concern.

The WCCC thanked the Peace Corps office for the invitation. The volunteers expressed their joy of knowing there’s a place to offer assistance with regards to violence against women and girls.



A group of passionate stakeholders have taken on the challenge to end all forms of violence against women and children in Ha’apai after taking part in a  WCCC awareness and training workshop on violence against women and children during the 16 Days of Activism.

The training was led by Lesila Lokotui To’ia, the WCCC Staff Team Leader. The training covered;

–  gender, gender stereotyping and its impact on relationships

– carrying out a basic gender analysis to understand the root causes of violence against women

– Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Sexual Harassment, Rape and all forms of sexual violations

– understanding the Family Protection Act, its definition, roles, penalties

– Marriage Consent Age  and how it contributes to VAWG

– Identifying and discussing Healthy & Equal Relationships

– Understanding Human Rights and CEDAW – and how it relates to our daily lives

One female participant shared, “understanding gender equality has made me realize that I have always been a slaved wife and that I had made the right choice when I left my husband. Family and friends didn’t understand why I gave up on my marriage just because they thought it was unchristian of me to leave and that I should have stayed and worked things out. But I had been suffering for years and I see myself in that cycle of violence that we are learning about here. I made a good choice and I shouldn’t doubt my decision again because it was the best decision that I have made for myself.”

Participants were given encouraged to discuss some very challenging issues such as religion and culture and the use of narrow interpretations of both culture and religion to discriminate against women.  As a result religion and culture was discussed in a more positive light and how it promotes gender equality and non-violent relationships.

A town officer who took part in the training emphasized this by saying, “If we were to show how changed we are through this training, it will be shown in the life we lead at home. It is time that we refrain from physically beating and thrashing our wives and kids as means of discipline. This form of upbringing is violence and we must stop raising angry and violent sons”.

The training ended with the following recommendations from the participants:

  • WCCC should establish a branch here in Ha’apai – especially a Safe House which is more urgent
  • WCCC awareness programs should be carried out to the outer islands of Ha’apai
  • WCCC should establish a focal point in Ha’apai.

The training was held Pangai  from the 6th to 9th of December funded by UN Women Pacific Regional Ending Violence Against Women Facility Fund.



The Adaptive Leadership (Pacific Regional Leadership Initiative) was developed by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) to support Pacific leaders.  In collaboration with Cambridge Leadership Associates (CLA), it is a comprehensive yearlong program that comprises three week-long residential modules, interspersed with ongoing strategic coaching support.

Director of WCCC, ‘Ofakilevuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki was selected to take part in the yearlong intensive regional training alongside 5 other Tongan colleagues:  Siale ‘Ilolahia Executive Director of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga (CSFT), Rev. Dr. ‘Ungatea Kata, Director of Tupou Technical Institute (TTI), Betty Blake Director of Ma’a Fafine Mo e Famili (MFF) and Drew Havea President of CSFT Board.

“We have just completed 2 of the 3 modules in Fiji with our other regional colleagues and we are really getting into testing out some of the key concepts we have learned about in the various spaces we are in here in Tonga.  It can get really daunting and challenging but at the same time through our sharing when we meet up in Tonga to debrief we are also seeing some positive impacts,” said Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

Participants of the training have been introduced to the concept of Adaptive Leadership, and a range of diagnostic and management tools for organisational or social change.

Georgina Cope, PLP Team Leader said that “Adaptive Leadership accepts that leaders don’t need to have all the answers but encourages them to rethink the way they view and address issues.  The Adaptive Leadership approach also recognizes that leadership can be exercised at all levels in organisations and societies, not just at the top.”

“One of my favourite learnings from the Adaptive Leadership training is the need to be able to have more than one interpretation of a situation.  Most times we only have one interpretation of a situation and that can be a huge barrier when it comes to looking at solutions or the way forward.  I have challenged myself to practice this thinking  – taking on more than one interpretation of a situation – and by doing that alone I have found that my analysis of situations or issues is much more healthier and allows me to address things in a more effective way,” says Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

Guttenbeil-Likiliki, ‘Ilolahia and Kata are also part of the Adaptive Leadership Training of Trainers with the hope that they will be able to roll out trainings in Tonga.


Raising Awareness on the 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM

The PACMAS funded media practitioners training was timely as it was conducted prior to the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women Campaign which runs every year from the 25 November through to the 10 December.  The objectives of the training was to improve the capacity of media practitioners to

  1. communicate about gender equality and the prevention of violence against women
  2. partner with and work effectively with women’s rights and gender equality advocates and
  3. encourage and equip media practitioners with enough knowledge and skills to research and produce a series of media reports (print/broadcast/multi-media) during the 16 Days of Activism.

The main recommendations resulting from the workshop:

There needs to be ongoing gender equality and women’s human rights

Trainings need to clearly link Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW), Women in Politics (WIP) decision making and Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) All gender commitments be sent to all local media with regular updates on achievements Tonga has made or has not made in relation to these gender commitments (national, regional and international commitments)

National Women’s Machinery (Women’s Affairs Unit) to have readily available information to share regarding these commitments

Trainings for media practitioners on these issues be conducted by local experts who can use local examples and hold interactive and participatory discussions in the local and English language

Continue to involve other key stakeholders in media trainings in order to enrich the discussions and build connections and partnerships between media and other stakeholders

The need to create initiatives and incentives that encourages ethical reporting, for example annual media reporting awards

Ensure that training is provided for senior media practitioners who hold decision making power on content.



Reporting TIPS on Violence Against Women and Girls Stories Toolkit

In our Jan-June 2016 Newsletter we covered a story on the development of a new toolkit: Reporting Tips on Violence Against Women and Girls Stories. 

The new toolkit was a collaborative initiative of the WCCC and various local media conducted over a series of two workshops, funded by UNESCO Apia Samoa office.  The President of the Tonga Media Council (TMC) Lady Luseane Luani officially endorsed the toolkit in its English language format.

A third workshop focusing on media reporting of violence against women stories funded by PACMAS prior to the 16 Days of Activism was also used as an opportunity to trial test the toolkit in English among local practitioners.

The good news is that during this year’s 16 Days of Activism, the toolkit was fully translated into the Tongan language.  The toolkit will be available in both Tongan and English and will be distributed to all local media in the New Year.

One of the new initiatives that WCCC will kick-start with the distribution of the toolkits is the announcement of the Annual 16 Days of Activism Media Reporting Awards which aims to be held every year during the 16 Days of Activism.

Reporters and media practitioners will be informed of the categories so that they have ample time to produce content based on what they have learned in the workshops and training they have attended so far, in particular, demonstrating that they have used the toolkit in producing their content.