12 Apr 2013

Samoa's Family Safety law welcomed

7:13 am on 12 April 2013

A women's group is applauding the passing into law of Samoa's Family Safety bill, saying it complements other work being done to protect victims of family violence and sexual abuse.

The bill, passed by parliament last month, gives more power to police, health officials and educators to help affected families, especially women and children.

Papali'i Dr Viopapa Annandale of the Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association says a number of studies indicate the level of violence in Samoa is still too high.

She says the legislation is long overdue, yet a step in the right direction.

"The Family Safety Bill has just been passed and so will be implemented presumably immediately, where it will provide protection orders for women and criminalise some of the violence abusive activities that were going on. So we are gradually getting better and stronger legal protections for women and girls."