Vaie'e to deal with man accused of abusing daughter

A village that has set a $2,000 fine for any man who abuses his wife, women or children, has yet to deal with a father charged for abusing his pregnant daughter. 

But that's because the Vaie'e Village Council has yet to meet, according to a senior village chief. 

A 54-year-old father from Vaie’e has been charged for threatening words, being armed with a cable wire causing bodily injuries and assault against his 18-year-old daughter.

He is scheduled to appear in Court on 18 March 2019. 

Last month, the village of Vaie’e announced the fine for domestic and family violence, as a deterrence measure against men.

Contacted for a comment yesterday, a high chief of Vaie’e, Tuia Paepae Letoa, said the matter has not yet been dealt with in the village council. 

“The village has not met for the month of March as it was cancelled due to the fa’amati held on the first Monday of this month,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“The matter has not been brought to my attention but we will meet again in April. The fine is not new, it has been there for years. We are just re-enforcing it and strengthening that message across to villagers that we will not tolerate domestic violence.” 

Tuia added no one has been fined since the village has re-enforced the punishment. 

In June last year the Ombudsman’s office launched a National Public Inquiry into family violence in Samoa. 

Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma in his foreword of the report stated, it is with sadness but also great hope that I greet you and present to Parliament this Report on the National Public Inquiry into Family Violence in Samoa (Inquiry).

“Sadness because of what we have heard over the course of this Inquiry about the appalling violence suffered across our country within families, and the sheer scale of the problem we are facing,” said Maiava. 

“But also hope and optimism, arising from the practical solutions which have been put forward and a realisation of how our culture (Fa’asamoa), Faith, and human rights can help us in addressing the social ill that is family violence. 

“The issue of family violence and violence generally, is one which has come to dominate our news cycles in recent times and it was clear to my Office that something needed to be done. Many before us have tried, and multiple programmes are ongoing, yet the problem not only persists but appears to be worsening. 

“As you will see, the approach that we have taken is a radical one, and only possible by a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) with the broad mandate it has been given by Parliament. Family violence sits behind a veil of silence so it was necessary to lift this veil and create a national conversation – to hear the stories of those from every corner of our country to fully understand the problem, and to ask our people what they think the solution should be.”  

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