Mothers are the backbone of families and the bedrock of a nation.
And to bite the hands that feed you is a disgrace and disappointment not only to families but also to the church, society and the country as a whole.
These were Toma Stower’s words when asked about his opinion on violence against women in Samoa.
“We should take care of our mothers and not abuse them in any form of violence,” the 65-year-old told Village Voice yesterday.
As a father and grandfather himself, the fact that many women and mothers are involved in the mounting violence against themselves brings him sadness.
Toma is even more disappointed with the fact that violence against women is happening within families.
“We must remember that they bring life into the world,” he said.
“They sense the cries of an infant, they can easily sense us (fathers) when something is wrong with us...why? Because their instincts are to care for the old, young, we fathers, the sick and those in need.”
“Our mothers, sisters and daughters share a core value of caring for others; they have that special gift from God to sense everything.”
Toma said in the past abuse against violent abuse against women was unheard off.
“For everything was governed under the Samoan culture and God,” Toma explained.
“But what’s happening today, much of the violence against women is from their own family members and brothers.”
“These ugly events are occurring because Samoa has lost its Christian and traditional cultural values, men forget that sisters are covenant, regardless of who and how old they are.”
“They forget their responsibility to look after them and to serve them with all respect.”
He said the government should empower women and ensure they shared the same education opportunities as others.
“Provide them programmes on how to tackle violence, how to develop their families, how to walk away from problems and others.”
“Our government should create a public awareness through workshops in villages; yes we have those programmes but in just a few villages.”
In addressing family violence he believed that workshop is a very reliable source.
“We should act before it’s too late, giving advice to those who are involved and sharing is very important because of the high level of violence that we are facing nowadays.”
His reminded members of the community “In unity we excel, together we can make a change”.
“I think we should stop running TV bingo on television but instead programmes for everyone to see and understand how to avoid violence in our families.”