As initiatives discussed, violence continues

By Adel Fruean 17 October 2021, 7:18PM

As talks and initiatives about overcoming violence against women and children continue, anti-violence organisations say demand for their services is continuing. 

The Samoa Victim Support Group (S.V.S.G.), the nation’s leading support group for juvenile victims of violence, says it only received a call last week about an urgent child protection case. 

According to the group, the matter involved a child showing clear signs of having been the victim of abuse was attended to by their response team and immediately referred to police.

“Whilst talks are everywhere on finding solutions against violence, we here at S.V.S.G. [carry out] our work the best way we know how,” the organisation said in a statement. 

The group has also acknowledged an initiative from telecommunication companies Digicel and Vodafone which allows people concerned about possible cases of abuse to make free telephone calls to the service.

“Together we are able to save lives,” the statement said. 

Last week, Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said that the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (M.W.C.S.D.) has already started programmes with the aim of addressing violence against women and children.

“I believe that this programme is important and was recently launched by the Minister [M.W.C.S.D.],” the S.V.S.G. said.

The Ministry of Women previously launched the development of Samoa’s first-ever National Prevention Framework to end violence against women and girls.

The Minister of Women Community and Social Development, Leota Laki Lamositele, revealed that the development framework launch is an important milestone which is fundamental to the protection of all women and girls of Samoa from all forms of violence. 

He said that the primary objective of the framework was to achieve its long term violence reduction goals over the following decade. 

“[We will pursue] key prevention principles and approaches to advocate and promote the agenda for transforming gender norms, structures and practices,” the Minister said. 

“The development of the framework will be guided by the realities and living experiences of our people to find the most immediate and long-term solutions to ending violence on women and girls.”

Last month, the Minister of Finance, Mulipola Anarosa Molio’o revealed during her budget address that support of a total of $1 milion has been allocated in the form of assistance for organisations lobbying for an end to violence against women and children. 

She explained that assistance to non-governmental organisations is part of the Government’s priority to combat violence against women.

“About 52.3 per cent of women aged 15-49 years (more than half of the women population) report having experienced physical, emotional and or sexual violence by an intimate partner,” the Minister said. 

“Grants can be given out to these organisations not only to help develop and improve their programs and community support but also to build a relationship with the government and to acknowledge the important work they do for our community and country.” 

By Adel Fruean 17 October 2021, 7:18PM
Samoa Observer

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