7 Dec 2004

Oxfam fears Solomon Islands family violence increase

4:31 pm on 7 December 2004

An Oxfam programme manager in the Pacific says family violence is a problem in Solomon Islands and may have increased since armed conflict ended there about a year ago.

Anne Lockley, the Oxfam Australia Pacific Programme manager, says there are no figures but there's no doubt family and community violence is a widespread problem.

"The anecdotal reports are that things such as disagreements over resource use or over bride price or over even things like the way land might be used for something like forestry. All of these things can actually escalate things like violence within families, and it's there that the impact can first be felt."

Anne Lockley says the payment of a bride price, commonly in shell money, livestock or food, is viewed by many as a major contributor to family violence.

She says this can be either because in these situations men view women as their property, or because women are often blamed for the pressures the system places on families.