B.G.W raises domestic violence, abuse awareness

Not-for-profit organisation Brown Girl Woke [B.G.W.] continues to raise awareness on domestic violence and sexual abuse and will soon run workshops in various communities in a bid to address the issue.

BGW founder Maluseu Doris Tulifau told the Samoa Observer in a telephone interview that one of their initiatives is to train young people on how to create safe spaces at their homes in the villages and to start having these conversations.

She said doing community work and gaining a close relationship with the people in the community will help them open up on hard conversations around issues such as domestic violence and sexual abuse. 

"We have been doing it this whole time for the last few years. We have also done N.U.S concerts with the performance arts there doing poetry, plays and music on domestic violence," Maluseu said. 

The not-for-profit organisation recently hosted training seminars for their mentors to carry out workshops in schools and villages, focusing on speaking about healing and being there for people who need support.

While their preparations are on track, they hope that by next month they can return to the high schools to continue creating safe spaces for seniors.

Maluseu believes that domestic violence and sexual abuse will not end and further stated that 90 per cent of the cases originate within homes.

"It is usually someone that is related to us. I have been doing research around the Pacific, we all have the same story. It is usually someone that we are related to, it is usually happening at our house," she said. "It is scary to think that someone in our family can do that.”

Without providing details, she added that five girls with Samoan heritage living in different countries were killed due to domestic violence.

She also believes that corporal punishment should be stopped because recent research showed that a lot of people did not like teachers physically hitting students.

Maluseu said she continues to advocate for the creation of safe spaces for children in the villages, including looking for families who can provide a safe shelter to victims from danger.

When asked about women representation in villages and the Parliament, she said: "We understand that it is so patriarchal here and it's going to be hard to be a woman in politics or even women in the village but we have to do it, we have to make a stand, it has to be now."

"You have to have a good support system for any girls that are promoting women to be leaders.”

Maluseu added that anyone who is in need of support can reach out to B.G.W through their social media accounts and phone number. 

They are also open to host workshops for communities and youth groups.

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