Samoa’s Brown Girl Woke initiative fights culture of silence on violence

The Brown Girl Woke initiative hopes to continue empowering Samoan youth in fighting against the culture of silence over violence.

Founder Maluseu Doris Tulifau says it is essential to support young people in finding their voice and speaking out on these issues.

Tulifau, 29, launched the non-profit feminist organisation in the US in 2014, and used the platform to share her own experience as a survivor of violence. She worked in community development and human rights in California before moving to Samoa.

“I’m a survivor of sexual abuse and when I started to tell my story in America, I was already an activist promoting Pacific Islanders in higher education,” Tulifau said.

In 2018, she began the second chapter of Brown Girl Woke initiative in Samoa where she uncovered the culture of silence and factors that fueled this.

“There are many reasons a lot of us don’t reach that pedigree because of social issues, economic background and our environment around taboo issues and not speaking  out.

wanted to empower young women and men on these taboo issues in the community, especially on domestic violence and sexual abuse,” Tulifau said.