21 Jul 2016

Vanuatu church leaders commit to ending violence in their homes

9:31 am on 21 July 2016

Nearly 100 chiefs and church ministers in Vanuatu have committed to ending violence within their own families.

They attended recent workshops by the Channels of Hope programme to learn how they could provide effective counselling on family violence within their communities.

Programme manager Pastor Fiama Rakau said it was the first time church leaders had addressed violence as an issue in Vanuatu's culture.

He said the leaders wanted to make a change in their own homes before trying to counsel other families.

"We had stories from participants who said when they were thinking of violence they were thinking of violence as something outside of them. But now they realise that they need to begin at home in their relationship to their spouse and as well as in how they treat their children. So, yes that's a very powerful approach in our counselling workshop because change should begin with us," said Pastor Rakau.