Group sees no decrease in family violence

A lot of work has been put in place to combat family violence in Samoa.

But organisations on the ground battling with everyday struggles and dealing with victims have yet to see any major changes in attitude.

The Samoa Victim Support Group is one of them.

SVSG representative, Marieta Ilalio, said the organization has seen an increase in people coming in to seek support, and that it has only encouraged them to push further into spreading awareness within the country.

"From January to this month, we’ve seen an increase," she said, "it’s close to ten cases that have girls as victims within their own homes."

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"It has only pushed SVSG further to spread the message because we still see that there isn’t a decrease, but rather an increase of these crimes."

SVSG is promoting their 'We can, You can' campaign aimed at  and they hope the message will be a game changer for the issue in Samoa.

"We hope that by the end of this campaign, we see a change in these numbers by seeing a decrease in these cases, not only with women and girls but also men and boys," she said.

When queried on the effectiveness of their past programmes with regards to the apparent increase in cases, she remained confident that the programmes are effective.

"Its effective but the only problem is, its become an epidemic and that’s why we are constantly pushing this campaign.

"Just like an alcoholic, you can never really tell them to stop, they just wont because they’ve become used to it," she added.

The office of the Ombudsman released its first national inquiry last year, highlighting the widespread shame of family violence.

They found 87 percent of respondents had been subjected to yelling and harsh words, 86 percent had been kicked, punched, slapped or attacked using a hard object and 24 percent choked.

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