Outreach programmes addressing violence against women and children resume in Samoa

Samoa Victim Support Group has resumed its community outreach programme addressing violence against women and children.

The programmes were on hold due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

The outreach began at Solosolo following seven other targeted communities under the fourth module that is focused on parents’ ability to understand how their children think and feel from an unborn child to a new born baby up to 18 years of age, and how the needs of children and the roles of parents change.

To comply with Alert Level two restrictions, participants were limited to 30 parents and 20 adolescents.

A chief orator from Solosolo, Lemafa Tilo Leota said the programme reminded him as a parent of the significance of the connection between parents and their children to avoid violence in families.

There was also a session for adolescents about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse and peer pressure.

The programme will continue in five other communities.

 “SVSG acknowledges the support of UNICEF Pacific through its partnership, which builds the capacity of SVSG to facilitate the community prevention programs in the selected village communities. Thank you also to the Solosolo Women’s Committee for hosting the Programme,” said Georgina Lui, Chair of the SVSG Board.

Samoa’s first ever National Public Inquiry conducted by the Ombudsman’s Office/National Human Rights Institution in 2016 found that 86 per cent of women have experienced physical and bodily harm in their lifetime.

Almost nine in 10 Samoan women have experienced physical or emotional violence at the hands of family members, with six out of 10 experiencing intimate partner violence.

One in five women has been raped.

The Inquiry revealed 33 per cent of women who are raped contemplate suicide, while 13 per cent attempt suicide.

The economic impact of family violence costs Samoa up to 105 million tala each year, equivalent to seven per cent of the country’s gross domestic product or 882 tala for every Samoan aged 15 years or older.

The Inquiry into family violence pointed to violence in the up-bringing of children in Samoan homes as having a direct bearing on the violence women and girls face later in life and violence in general in society.



Photo supplied 



Talaia Mika