Victims encouraged to speak up, get help
The President of the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.), Siliniu Lina Chang, has encouraged members of the public who may be suffering from abuse, physical, sexual and emotional, to stand up and do something about it.
In fact, she has urged them to contact the S.V.S.G. office if they feel they have nowhere else to go.
Siliniu's plea follows the latest incident of domestic violence in Samoa where two people were left dead and a petrol station torched.
“No amount of problem warrants an end to a precious life,” she said.
She added that if anyone knows of someone being abused physically or emotionally to contact 800-7874.
“As the President of the S.V.S.G., I am calling on our people to help us help you better."
The incident happened at the end of a week where the the rights of the child and ways to protect women were issues at the 84th Extraordinary Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child hosted by Samoa.
The day before, the Spotlight Initiative was launched in Samoa; a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
“But some things are just beyond our control no matter how tirelessly we work round the clock to eliminate the ugliness of violence from our communities," she said.
“We will never know what triggered this man on a Saturday afternoon, to kill his wife, to destroy the petrol station where she worked, before taking his own life.”
She added that, “What we do know is that our people, here and abroad, continued to tolerate violence as the norm.”
Siliniu also said that while time may heal, the healing will only start once we confront ourselves with the ugly reality of violence; that it leaves us traumatised, broken, lost and for others, it becomes an intergenerational curse passed down to our children.
“During this week, we received phone calls, emails and walk in clients who have tolerated violence as the norm, yet, were prompted to come forward due to the horrific incident over the weekend.
“Some have kept silent for 15 – 20 years and others have had children of their own, who are going through the same path.”