Samoa launches Spotlight Torch

By Marc Membrere 27 November 2021, 9:25PM

The Samoa Government has launched the Orange Samoa Spotlight Torch of Hope campaign to officially kick off the country's participation in the 16 Days of Activism global movement.

The global initiative, which is being led by the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development in Samoa, was launched in Upolu while a corresponding event took place in Savai'i.

The community development and law and justice sectors united to launch the campaign which will see the Spotlight Torch travel all over Upolu and Savai'i between 25 November and 10 December.

The launching of the Spotlight Torch will also compliment the White Ribbon Day to spread awareness and visibility on the impact of domestic and intimate partner violence in Samoa.

After the launch the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration ran a community consultation to solicit feedback in terms of effective law enforcement and access to justice while promoting a survivor-focused approach to service provision and prevention.

The M.J.C.A Assistant C.E.O. Liusuavai Kerisiano said domestic violence and intimate partner violence are sensitive issues to discuss but unforgivable under the law. 

"Perpetrators of violence must be held accountable with relevant punishable laws and legislations," he said.

"At the same time, the law and justice sector endeavours to ensure survivors of violence, not only have access but have a wider and clearer understanding of available legal and justice services to protect and support them by sector partners."

 According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development, the initiative is part of the overall awareness of the Samoa National Prevention Framework for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls within the framework of the European Union and United Nations Spotlight Initiative 16 Days of Healing Campaign.

It is being led by the Ministry with its partners facilitating a change in harmful social norms, attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence. 

"It promotes community ownership and leadership in reinforcing key messages that violence is preventable and we need to 'stop it before it starts' in families, villages, churches, and local communities," the Ministry's statement reads.

By Marc Membrere 27 November 2021, 9:25PM
Samoa Observer

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