Broadcasters undergo domestic and sexual violence training

Broadcasters at the state-owned Radio 2AP have completed joint training with Samoa Victims Support Group (S.V.S.G.) to equip themselves with the skills to work with survivors of domestic and sexual violence abuse.

In a statement from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (M.C.I.T.), the Principal Programmer-Producer of Radio 2AP, Mauisiisii Leutu Mose, said the program has given her team a deeper understanding of domestic and sexual violence.

The training was vital for radio broadcasters to host public discussions and talk-back shows on the delicate issue said M.C.I.T.

“It is a topic that we are always careful about because of the risks or harm that a story might bring to the survivor. But this project allows us to work closely with survivors and firstly understand the impacts and the ‘dos and don’ts’ before we venture into broadcasting the issue,” said Mauisiisii. 

“We feel that we now have the confidence to speak about Domestic and Sexual Violence; the difference between Triggers and Causes, Myths and Facts, the Cycle of Violence as well as the Power and Control that is at the centre of abusive behavior.”

The two-day workshop for broadcasters was held over the weekend.

The project was led by M.C.I.T. in partnership with the S.V.S.G. and the Spotlight Initiative aims at developing the capacity and confidence in broadcasters to interview survivors and be an effective communication platform for delivering key messages of ending violence in Samoa.

In parallel to the workshop for broadcasters, was a tailor-made training sessuib for the young survivors

of S.V.S.G. is also being rolled out, M.C.I.T. said.

The merging of those key training will be an opportunity to air the voices of Survivors on Radio 2AP, in time for Samoa’s participation in the global 16 Days of Activism against violence and abuse of women and children. 

The Radio 2AP broadcasting team juggled their shift work to participate in the training workshop conducted by Tuiloma Lemalu Sina Retzlaff of Pacific Global Solutions. 

Tuiloma said the experience of broadcasters, being experts in their own field of communication, and their working knowledge of community engagement, made it easier to achieve the learning outcomes of the workshop. 

“It was a blessing to work with highly experienced broadcasters, some with over 30 years’ experience in their field. As soon as they grasped the key elements such as the norms that drive abusive behaviour; we saw vox pops, slogans, quirky short sayings and key messages just flowing out from this team!,” said Tuiloma.

The voices of S.V.S.G. survivors will be recorded and aired on Radio 2AP this week, as part of  M.C.I.T.’s engagement in community messages during the globally celebrated 16 Days of Activism to end all forms of abuse toward women and children. 

The National Inquiry Report into Family Violence (N.I.R.F.V.) conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman National Human Rights Institute (N.H.R.I.) found that 20 percent of women reported being raped in their lifetime while 10 per cent reported being raped by a family member. 

“In cases of sexual violence on children and young girls many were victimized at home. The pattern is one of worsening violence against children. Barely a day now passes without a report of sexual violence or acts done on young girls at the hands of perpetrators they know,” said Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, in a statement. 

“It needs to be made quite clear that responsibility for these hideous acts lie with the perpetrators and should never be palmed off onto the victims of the crimes. No woman or child wants to be sexually abused and the psychological and physical impact can be devastating and lifelong. For the most part, there is self-blame, shame, and guilt.”

The N.I.R.F.V. confirmed increasing trends in the prevalence of family violence in Samoa with 86 percent of women surveyed, declaring that they had been punched, kicked, slapped, or assaulted with an object by a spouse or other family member, while 87 per cent reported having been subjected to emotional and verbal abuse as well as threats of violence. 

The M.C.I.T. Radio 2AP Project is funded by the Spotlight Initiative through UNESCO, working in close partnership with the only shelter available for survivors, the S.V.S.G.


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