6 Oct 2017

Clear messages emerge at Samoa violence inquiry

4:11 pm on 6 October 2017

As Samoa's Commission of Inquiry into Family Violence draws to a close the public presentations over the last three weeks have sent a clear message.

Domestic violence is an enduring problem in many Pacific Island states.

Domestic violence is an enduring problem in many Pacific Island states. Photo: 123rf

The message is that problem is very real,and on the rise, and the overwhelming consensus is for action to be taken.

Many presentations indicated that domestic violence has become normalised in Samoan society. Everyone agreed that a holistic approach is needed to tackle violence in the home.

The National Council of Women pointed out that many organisations share varying messages and at times conflicting ones, a sentiment echoed by the Nurses Association and a suicide prevention advocacy group, Fa'ataua Le Ola.

Lawyer Leautuliilagi Vanessa Barlow Schuster told the commission there was a strong need for attitudes and mindsets to change, because misunderstandings about family violence are rife.

She said that no single system can solve family violence on its own given that its prevalence and reach is nationwide.

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