17 Jun 2008

Samoa launches all-hour victim support service

3:32 pm on 17 June 2008

The Samoa Victim Support Group has officially launched a 24/7 emergency support unit as a way to prevent further loss of lives.

This comes after the murder of a young man as the result of an alleged extra-marital affair.

The accused appeared in court this afternoon charged with one count of first degree murder.

The volunteer co-ordinator for the Samoa Victim Support Group, Iosefa Tautua, says the main problem is that when people are facing personal troubles, they don't often reach out for help.

"We have to make them understand and educate them that once they're [in an] traumatised or like a stressful state, then they have to ask somebody or they need somebody to talk to. With the previous cases and all these cases like this, people tend to solve the problems in their own way. That's the main difficulty."

Iosefa Tautua says every volunteer with the group has signed an oath of secrecy in front of a judge to establish trust with the community.

The all-hours emergency support and victim support office is located next to the main police headquarters.