Man living with disability calls for honesty

A man living with a disability has blamed the lack of honesty and patience among Samoan men for the increase in domestic violence cases.

Russel Yong Yen, 24, of Vaiusu told Samoa Observer there are solutions to the domestic country’s violence crisis and mens’ lack of honesty and patience is a major factor.

“Since the main talk of this week is the rights of the people, to me, the reason why a lot of women and girls are being abused is because men lack with honesty and patience,” he said. “Patience comes after honesty. If you were honest towards your chosen wife then you should be patient with whatever causes your differences. Control your mind.”

The absence of evening services within the homes of Samoan families is another factor, according to Mr Yong Yen, who believes that the solutions to many of the country’s problems lies in the Gospel.

“We’re slowly losing that in our communities and our families but it’s these old ways that I know have been helping our thinking back in the days,” he said.

Mr Yong Yen said the responsibility to end domestic violence is not entirely the Government and citizens should also take on the task. 

He then questioned the rationale of the promoting the rights of the child, arguing that it is the matais’ belief that such a policy enabled the children to disrespect their parents.

“On the rights of the people, I strongly support this because this is where the child is given the opportunity to speak out for himself and deport his father or mother if they abuse him,” he added. “In the bible it says children should respect their parents, which is not a bad thing because it’s said in the Bible, but it’s becoming a barrier for the child not to speak up if the parent is doing something wrong because they will think they should respect but at the same time they’re being abused.”

The promotion of individual rights can also ensure that people living with a disability, such as himself, are not discriminated against.

“Like the Principal of Avele [College] said, he’s just a leader but God is the real principal.It’s also these kinds of small examples that can be a solution to the minds of the children when they grow up.”

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