18 Jun 2008

Samoa NGO says village judgement may hinder people needing help

9:08 am on 18 June 2008

The Samoa NGO Family Haven says village judgement may be hindering people from reaching out for help.

This follows the wife of the man accused of brutally killing another man being banished from the Elise Fou village because of a rumored extra-marital affair.

The Samoa Victim Support group officially launched it's 24/7 emergency support unit following the death.

The vice-president for Family Haven, Maiava Visekota Peteru, says any additional help available to people is something that is needed, particularly in the urban areas, where the alleged murder occurred.

But she says another sad aspect to the case is that the wife of the accused is now being double-victimised.

"She's being punished for having an affair, so she's being judged. Rather than giving her support, she's had this happen right on her doorstep - she's being punished by being banished by the village and only the mother's allowed to remain. But she and her children - and so the children are suffering also."

Maiava Visekota Peteru.

The accused has been charged with one count of first degree murder.