Uncle allegedly assaults woman in presence of husband

A 35-year-old woman has lodged a complaint with the Police alleging she was assaulted by her husband’s uncle in the presence of her husband, this week.

The assault was confirmed by the woman, who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition that is she is not identified for fear of repercussions.

She also said the alleged assault occurred in the presence of her husband.

Her 36-year-old husband also confirmed the incident. He said he tried to stop the assault but opted not to retaliate out of respect for his uncle, who is a high chief in the village.

“I believe that laws are put in place for us to follow," the husband said. "After the incident my wife and I sought assistance from Samoa Victim Support Group."

He added that the Police will issue a protection order against his uncle.

The mother said the incident stemmed from a disagreement over her son.

“I have been a nofotane (married woman living with her husband’s family) for more than five years,” she said. “I chose to tell my story because I want to encourage other nofotane women or anyone who is abused that it is not alright to be treated badly.”

The thought that she was assaulted by one of her in-laws continues to frustrate her, she added. 

“As a human being I have a right to live and not to be harmed. The matter is with the Police now and we will have to wait for the court to decide.”

Comments are being sought from the Police. 

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