18 May 2015

Child violence in Pacific tackled

10:56 am on 18 May 2015

A Samoa family court judge says the country's efforts to tackle high rates of violence against children is starting to show signs of success.

This week UNICEF is hosting a conference for representatives from 14 Pacific nations to discuss solutions to high rates of violence in the region.

Leilani Tuala-Warren says the number of domestic abuse victims coming forward has increased since the Family Safety Act was passed in 2013.

Children on Mataso Island were saved by sheltering in rocks in the hillsides.

UNICEF conference deals with violence against children Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

She says the law allows the court to grant protection orders when there has been domestic violence, including on a child.

But she says there have been some problems in ensuring police serve protection orders immediately, especially in remote parts of the country.

"An interim protection order, it must be served immediately. It is a matter of life and death for some women and children. So we are just trying to work around some of the ways we can get service to our most remote parts of the island, and other islands. These are sort of logistical issues that I am hoping people can share their experience when I go to this conference."