Working towards a suicide free Samoa
Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa
Editor in Chief
Re: Sunday Samoa Observer 19th June 2016
Front Page Article – Suicide in Church Hall
We are writing on behalf of Faataua Le Ola (Suicide Awareness) in regards to the article which appeared on the front page of the Sunday Samoa Observer, Sunday 19th June 2016. The article and picture reported the suicide by hanging of a 20 year old youth identified as Jeanine Tuivaiki at the Catholic Church hall in Taufusi on Friday morning.
Faataua Le Ola wishes to lodge a complaint with your newspaper at the insensitive way this tragedy was reported.
Firstly, the photo showing the hanging of this deceased person was hedious and frightful and should never have been printed. The article identifying the victim was callous and unfeeling.
Secondly, the effect of this to the parents, relatives and friends of this poor soul must have been distressful and disturbing. To see this predicament publicized on the front page must have caused them embarrassment and sadness at this tragedy.
Thirdly, we sincerely hope that the photo of the victim and the article does not cause a ripple effect and copycat incidents in future.
Furthermore, Faataua Le Ola is requesting an urgent appointment with you to discuss the requirement of professional suicide reporting in Samoa and not rush into this type of sensational and heartless coverage which is a blatant and disrespectful disregard of victims and their families.
We would appreciate your willingness to offer an apology to the family in an effort to minimize their sorrow and pain.
Faataua Le Ola’s goal is to stamp out suicide in Samoa. We have a help lifeline 800-5433 that is accessible 24 hours 7 days a week. Suicide is not an answer to our problem. Calling up and talking about it will hopefully help.
We have always admired the Observer’s leadership in raising concern and awareness of the hardship that is making life burdensome in this country. Social conditions in regards to poverty and education, especially the street vendor kids who should be in school has always been a priority of your newspaper.
We are disappointed that your good works have been marred by yesterday’s article.
Ma le faaaloalo tele
Hans Joachim Keil
Pp: Board, Management, Staff and
Members of Faataua le Ola / Samoa