Violence on agenda at E.V.I.S. Forum

By Adel Fruean ,

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E.V.I.S.: Doris Tulifau (third from right) and Papali’i Mele Maualaivao (far right) and guests at E.V.I.S.

E.V.I.S.: Doris Tulifau (third from right) and Papali’i Mele Maualaivao (far right) and guests at E.V.I.S.

The United Nations (U.N.) Women hosted its latest Ending of Violence in Samoa (E.V.I.S.) roundtable at the University of the South Pacific Alafua Campus last week.

The main speaker was Doris Tulifau. She is a survivor of sexual violence who has been a vocal advocate for young Pacific Islander women. 

She founded Brown Girl Woke to help young Pacific Island women address sexual and physical abuse in their communities and has an extensive history of advocating for youth and survivors. 

“As a Samoan we are selfless that we think about everyone else before ourselves for instance our parents, church, village, community,” she said.

Ms. Tulifau also spoke about how Brown Girl Woke engages with youth through arts to help them address taboo topics that affect them. 

Other guests included a student from the American Samoa Community College, Stina Scanlan.

She shared two poems on being a victim of sexual assault and a friend that was a victim. 

The second performance was from Le Tiumasalasala dance group who hoped the art of performing can reach to a person to speak outside the family if students need to speak about taboo issues. 

Papali’i Mele Maualaivao,  of U.N. Women thanked everyone who contributed to a successful forum. 

The E.V.I.S. is an informal forum created to give participants a safe and open environment to share ideas, encourage discussion, and provide advice and support. 

It is open to any member of the public, and encourages those who are involved in ending violence against women and children space to participate. 

E.V.I.S. is supported by UN Women.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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