In the words of Sani Daoni: “I struggled with people who had power over me. Still, I was using the power to control people closest to me.”
Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Interviewed by: Miho Watanabe
Since 2018, the faith-based non-governmental organization House of Sarah has been piloting the project, PreventingViolence Against Women in Fiji’s Faith Settings initiative in three Christian communities in Fiji. House of Sarah is co-funded by the Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership), which is funded primarily by the European Union, the Governments of Australia and of New Zealand, UN Women, and the FijiWomen’s Fund (also supported by the Australian Government). Through strategic partnerships with faith leaders, and those in the education, sports and employment sectors, UN Women has been working to prevent violence against women and girls in Fiji.
Sani Daoni, 40, a member of Wailoku community in Suva, Fiji, has attended dialogue sessions given by the House of Sarah project.
I’m a man. I loved my power. I wanted things my way. I never shared responsibility with my wife. If things were not followed, I’d beat her up. I was harsh on the kids. I was always shouting at them. That’s how I disciplined my family.
When the project came to our community, I attended sessions given by community activists. I learned a lot there. Around that time, I noticed the way my eldest son was behaving. He wasn’t becoming a good person. I thought, maybe, all that I was doing was not helping me or my family. I started talking with my wife who was receiving different training under the project at the time. She told me that it was the power imbalance that was the root cause of violence.
Growing up, I struggled being labeled by society. I am a Solomon descendant. We were being looked down on by society. When I go for an interview, the company will shun me because I am from Solomon Islands, living in Wailoku. I struggled with people who had power over me. Still, I was using the power to control people closest to me. I began to change the way I think. I needed to stop what I was doing.
Thank God my wife shared these things with me then. Now, she shares these things with other people in our community as a community activist. I also became a member of the Men’s Group. Now, I share my story with other men in my community.”