Domestic violence

Samoa Police to start prosecuting domestic violence next month

Police Commissioner Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo said police prosecution is ready to take on the task, and was requested by the Attorney-General.

Meanwhile, the Samoa Observer reports the New Zealand Police have been in the country to conduct the second phase of the prosecution training for police officers.


Samoa Victim Support Group kept busy over Easter weekend

According to SVSG, the woman was allegedly physically abused by her husband all night, and she sustained injuries to her face.

She could not take care of herself, let alone, her children aged five-months, seven and eight years old.

A concerned neighbour who called the SVSG Helpline became the woman’s voice, and saved her life and that of her children.

Domestic violence cases in Samoa on the rise

Assistant Police Commissioner Auapa'au Logoitino Filipo was talking following the death of a mother of six, allegedly at the hands of her husband this week.

Auapa'au said the woman - between 30 and 40 years old - had died from stab wounds.

Her husband is in police custody.

Auapa'au said that 878 domestic violence cases were reported in 2019 and 964 in 2020.

He said so far this year Samoa police have received 628 complaints of domestic violence.


Margaux Pinot: Shock over release of judoka’s partner in assault case

Ms Pinot accused her partner and judo trainer Alain Schmitt of punching and attempting to strangle her during an altercation over the weekend.

The Olympic gold medallist, 27, filed a complaint against Mr Schmitt.

He was arrested but denied the allegations and was acquitted in court.

A judge said there was not "enough proof of guilt" for the prosecution to proceed when delivering his verdict in a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

"A court is never there to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying," the judge said.

Increase in Cook Islands men seeking therapy for domestic violence

The Cook Islands Women's Counselling Centre - Punanga Tauturu, are now helping more men than women and there's growing concern tane aren't getting help at the early stages and are instead going straight to court.

Punanga Tauturu has been working to eliminate violence against women for over 20 years.

The group's Co-ordinator Rebeka Buchanan said the lack of early abuse prevention to help Cook Island families break out of cycles of abuse was an issue.

Samoa’s Justice Vui raises concerns about Police interview procedures

The matter was highlighted after a heavily pregnant woman who was allegedly beaten by her partner collapsed at the police station.

Police officers took the woman from the hospital to the police headquarters to record her statement.

On the 5th day of trial last Friday morning, Court proceedings focused on defendant, whose mother had placed the 911 call to Police on the night of December 26th, seeking help for her daughter who was allegedly being beaten by her partner.

The woman is eight months pregnant.

COVID-19 pandemic triggers domestic violence in Samoan families

Samoa Victim Support Group President, Siliniu Lina Chang, highlighted this the issue in a press statement while receiving assistance from local communities. 

 “Stress and anxiety have led to escalating rates of domestic violence, and the United Nations research recording 68% of Samoans having lost income due to the pandemic, is a clear indication of what had mostly triggered violence nowadays; the loss of income”, Siliniu said.

Increase in family violence in Samoa during lockdown says NGO

Its president, Lina Chang, said women and children have in some cases been bearing the brunt of skyrocketing unemployment.

Ms Chang said she's being run off her feet by the volume of callouts in the past month.

"Our people are quite sad. They're disappointed, they don't know who to vent their disappointment on."

"The families are coming together because it's lockdown, and they look at each other and the domestic violence rises. So it's a cycle now," she said.


Pacific family violence workers mobilised during NZ's lockdown

The Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu campaign was launched this month by The Cause Collective, a Pacific social change agency.

The Cause Collective have spent the past three years working with family violence practitioners, Pacific providers and community leaders, including police, social workers and church ministers and training using specific cultural frameworks in eight different Pacific languages through the Nga Vaka o Kāiga Tapu programme.

Concerns Covid-19 stresses could increase domestic violence in Pacific

A family advocate in Tonga said the national lockdown and closing of borders had added stress to many households.

Tonga is under a State of Emergency as the government attempted to keep the country Covid-19 free.

Tonga's Women & Children Crisis Centre Director, 'Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki, said being in confinement could mean those already in violent relationships, could have their situation exacerbated.

She said the community would start to feel the economic crunch of the pandemic measures.