Domestic Violence In Samoa Reported Increasingly

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Group aims to increase awareness, provide support by phone

By Unumoe Esera

APIA, Samoa (Talamua, Sept. 24, 2012) – The number of cases of domestic violence within families and schools are increasing according to the President of the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) Lina Chang.

"The handling of domestic violence cases is an important issue and SVSG has been working around the clock last week and two weeks ago to address it.

"The awareness is there and yet the number of domestic violence in homes is still rising. I want the people out there who need help concerning these matters to know that there is a number for SVSG and it’s just a phone call away. If you don’t have a phone just let the neighbors know and they can tell us and we will be there for you," she said.

Chang also said not only is violence within families escalating but also within schools.

"There is a lot of school violence happening and teachers should look at ways to handle these matters. SVSG has had meetings with the police about ways in which we can resolve these issues. There have been many complaints and we have referred them to police and families need to try and step up and have violence eradicated from homes," said Lina.

Seven children under care of abusive father

She said her main concern is a recent case of a family of nine, where seven children are under the care of an abusive father. One of the children, a ten year old was admitted to hospital last week from head injuries caused by his father. The young child was present at SVSG headquarters with his head bandaged with a huge lump from the injury.

His mother is also in hospital sustaining injuries after she was beaten up by her husband. Lina said this is not the first time this man as physically abused his family and she fears for the lives of the three children who remain in his care. The other four have already been moved to the SVSG shelter or House of Hope which was recently opened at Tuana’imato. The young boy who was assaulted was found by police last week and taken to hospital and SVSG stepped in and took the boy under their wing as of yesterday.

The Assistant Police Commissioner, Leaupepe Fatu Pula was asked for a comment on whether the father has been charged in relation to these assaults. He said that the police have not finished their investigations and will release a statement tomorrow in the police weekly press conference.

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