25 Nov 2008

Solomons domestic violence not taken seriously, says agency

5:43 pm on 25 November 2008

An NGO in Solomon Islands which works with women and children living in abusive situations says domestic violence in the country is not taken seriously enough.

Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Samoa have taken part in a gender-based violence and child abuse study was coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Preliminary findings, released to coincide with White Ribbon Day, show rates of violence against women in Kiribati and Solomon Islands are among the highest in the world.

Kiribati's President has called the figures are alarming.

The full findings of the study will be released next month in Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands report will be made public next year.

The Family Support Centre in Solomon Islands offers a range of services to women and children seeking assistance and says there is an increasing demand.

But its coordinator, Lorio Sisiolo, says the public would not be aware because such issues are never commented on.

"Currently, yes, it's not really highlighted quite often in the media because a lot of people treat it as a family matter."

Lorio Sisiolo.