Domestic violence fears amidst coronavirus lockdown
The President of the Samoa Victims Support Group, Siliniu Lina Chang, has sounded the alarm about the risk of domestic violence and further abuse on girls and women during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
With the public, governments and humanitarian organisations across the world in a state of panic due to coronavirus, Siliniu cautioned that girls and women will be the ones left behind, as resources, services and attention are diverted.
“If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that our individual wellbeing is deeply intertwined with the wellbeing of everyone else,” Siliniu said. “If we don’t take care of those who are most vulnerable in our society and those who care for others, no one wins, but the virus.”
According to a statement by S.V.S.G. the lockdowns that are currently being implemented for families will isolate the abused and the most vulnerable from the people.
“It will also isolate the victims away the service providers that could help them.
“Across the world, we are facing an unprecedented large-scale crisis. It is humanity fighting for survival against the deadly COVID-19.
“Safety therefore requires us to physically separate from one another in a distancing and quarantine movement to stay alive.”
The Group also urged members of the public to contact them using their help line: 800-7874.
“Please know that we here at S.V.S.G. are holding the well-being of each of you close in our minds, while bridging the distancing and quarantine through virtual connection.
“For those experiencing violence, especially those forced to stay in lockdown with their abusers, know that you are not alone. Help is not on Shutdown.”
“For the ones who feel isolated due to the effects of distancing and quarantine, look at it as a critical time to pause, rest and reflect. There is always sunshine after the rain.”
So far, there are more than 80 abused and abandoned children are currently sheltered at the Campus of Hope.
S.V.S.G.’s mission is to ensure that victims of crimes and those in need are well supported to be safe and in control of restoring their lives.
“Safety is therefore the surviving word for this pandemic, especially given that in crises like this, pre-existing social inequities are often deepened.
“S.V.S.G. in the coming weeks will do its best to collect and share information that might be useful to you in this challenging moment. This virtual connection is made possible through the financial support from the Spotlight Initiative (U.N.D.P.) here in Samoa.”