7 Jul 2008

Police in Samoa vow to fight increase in family violence

5:48 am on 7 July 2008

Samoa's associate minister of Police and Prisons, Papalii Samuelu

Petaia, has called for the public to speak out to help stop family violence.

The call comes as the associate minister opened a new police

office dealing specifically with domestic violence.

The Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence programme is a joint initiative between New Zealand Aid, the New Zealand Police

and the Pacific Island chief's of police, including Samoa.

The acting police commissioner, Papalii Li'o, says there has been an increase in domestic violence, but at the same time many incidents go un-reported because of fear and cultural taboos.

But the Minister of Police, Tole'afoa Apulu Faafisi, hopes more people will be encouraged to report domestic violence as a result of the new police domestic section.

According to the minister the government is considering to amend laws to impose heavy penalties for domestic crimes.