Murder a symptom of nation’s fragility

Dear Editor,

Re: Father faces murder charge over son’s death 

This is very sad. It is symptomatic of a nation’s underlying fragility and violence. Its mental, emotional and spiritual fragility. The cultural, social and religious underpinnings of Samoa, invariably unravel with a bit of alcohol and drugs to expose hidden traumas, unresolved pasts, maniacal masculine aggression, repressed sexuality or expression and so on. 

As a child growing up in the urban setting of Apia, our family was not immune from the terror of violence perpetrated by our father upon our mother, and ourselves. 

Even kids at my school would be victims of beatings and other types of abuse. Even our friends and relatives that we (my siblings and I) stayed with during our childhood outings, witnessed and experienced the awful fear of regular incidents of spousal violence, parental abuse of children and so forth, it was normalised.

 This is the Samoa I grew up in. I’m grateful that our mother was always loving and gentle, a kind of anti venom to the poisonous father we had to endure as well as the impending volatility that came usually, from the world of men and their egos!

I’ve seen people hide behind the comfort of food, religion, culture or other deflections to avoid dealing with the hurt of trauma but this is the thing, it eventually comes out.

I send a thought of healing and love to those victims and survivors of violence, especially the family of this young boy killed at the hands of his father.


S. Matagi 

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