Elderly man beaten, girl runs away from father-in-law

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 26 January 2023, 2:00AM

A non-government organisation that provides refuge for victims of domestic violence in Samoa has revealed that there has been a surge in the number of cases from October to 23 December, 2022 involving cases of an elderly man being physically abused and a girl seeking refuge away from her grandfather.

Data provided by the Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.) Engage Newsletter from October-December of 2022 shows that a total of 85 new cases had been lodged with SVSG during this period. 

The cases range from child abuse to domestic violence against women and even violence against elderly members of the community. 

The newsletter also noted that counselling for victims of gender based violence, specifically for families of the men and women taking up employment under the Recognised Seasonal Employer have been on the rise during October to December. 

"At the same time, the amount of maintenance and custody cases lodged with SVSG for assistance in advocating the support through the Ministry of Justice have increased from 35 cases in July to September to 68 during October to December 2023," the report stated. 

"With the Case Management App developed with funding support from U.N.E.S.C.O., SVSG continues to monitor cases lodged by members of the community, for trends in areas requiring urgent attention and or community prevention programs."

One of the cases included in the newsletter was of an innocent victim "of a discipline gone wrong" case and the 13-year-old victim was laid to rest before Christmas. 

Furthermore, a sexual abuse case lodged with the organisation in October involved a 17-year-old college student who was referred to SVSG by her mother, for assistance in applying for Protection Order for her daughter, against her father-in-law. 

"The girl was sexually abused while she was 12 but didn't have the courage to speak up about it as she was constantly threatened by the perpetrator.

"The matter was immediately referred to the Police for their usual investigations while the girl and her mother are undergoing scheduled counselling sessions with the psychosocial Team."

A case of physical abuse lodged with S.V.S.G. in November involved a 75-year-old father who suffered physical and verbal abuse at the hands of his daughter's partner. 

"The elderly father lodged the complaint himself as the abuse is now extended to include his daughter's children all by the daughter's partner. 

"The matter was referred to Police for immediate assistance given the vulnerability of the victims in this domestic violence situation."

The newsletter also recorded down a case of "neglected children" that was reported by local media outlets during the festive season. 

"A day after Christmas, SVSG was alerted by a caller through the Helpline, of the need to evacuate two children ages one and five, who are constantly left on their own at night, while the parents go to work. 

"Together with the Police, SVSG's Response Team attended to the matter and found the children locked in a rented property closed to town. "The parents to called in to the police station to questioning and to attend to their children who were brought to the station by SVSG and the Police."

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 26 January 2023, 2:00AM
Samoa Observer

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