17 Nov 2016

Domestic violence endemic in Samoa says Ombudsman

9:55 am on 17 November 2016

Samoa's Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, is launching a Commission of Inquiry into a surge in domestic violence.

Next year's inquiry will be chaired by Maiava with two academics - from New Zealand and the National University of Samoa.

The latest government figures show reported domestic violence cases in Samoa have soared.

There were 200 cases recorded in 2012, 433 in 2013, 522 in 2014 and 723 last year.

Maiava told a media workshop domestic violence in Samoa is on the rise and it's endemic.

"Just like a lot of things, got to try and get at the root of the problem and try and address it there. Do something about it where we can. I hope we can make big changes in Samoa, because, to me, it is just bullying basically."

In September, he had signalled plans to launch the inquiry, on the fringes of the 11th Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting for Commonwealth countries.

The Ombudsman said there was a need for the message to be spread throughout Samoa that violence was not acceptable within Fa'a Samoa, as well as within a human rights perspective.

Maiava Iulai Toma said all sectors of the community have important roles in finding a solution to domestic violence.

Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma

Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma Photo: RNZ Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

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