19 Oct 2017

Optimism for Samoa family violence curb

7:15 pm on 19 October 2017

A member of Samoa's commission of inquiry on domestic violence is heartened by Samoa's vision for a non violent society.

AUT's Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop

AUT's Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop Photo: AUT

The commission has finished hearing testimony and a report is to be presented to parliament.

New Zealand based commissioner Tagaloatele Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop said people had been saying old family values of fa'asamoa have weakened and it's now time to go back to old traditions like evening family prayers.

"The nation has spoken if you like and said very very loudly that enough is enough. So if we want to protect and celebrate the beauty of the fa'asamoa then we really have to do something now."

Tagaloatele said the commission would recommend an agency be tasked with disseminating uniform messages on family violence.

She said it was also felt domestic violence should be dealt with within the public health system.

Tagaloatele said parents needed to engage with their children and stop normalising family violence, and that families also needed to feel less pressured by church and faalavelave, or big family events.

She said men and women had different knowledge and strengths but it did not mean one gender had control over the other.

The commissioners' report is due to be tabled with cabinet by June 2018.

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