Samoa victim support hampered by a lack of funding
Samoa's primary care provider for victims of domestic violence says its activities are limited by a lack of of funding.
The main care provider for victims of domestic violence in Samoa says its activities are limited by a lack of funding.
The Samoa Victim Support Group provides care for victims of violence as well as rehabilitative training such as anger management courses and couples counselling.
Its president, Muliaga Teli Siliniu Lina Chang, says the organisation has so far relied on the community's generosity and donations.
But Muliaga told Koroi Hawkins growing demand is making it a hard to keep all the programmes going.
MULIAGA TELI SILINIU LINA CHANG: Ever since our family violence court and our family court has been set up in Samoa over 400 men have gone through the advocacy training where our trainers do the training as well as the pastors and the reverends and the priests of Samoa are involved in. They help us in facilitating the training. These main offenders, they are referred from the Family Violence Court or from the Family Court so that they will be able to attend this programme not only on anger management but also involves liquor and also involves couples counselling and also involves stress inside families. So it is everything to do with families. It is a holistic approach in helping our people within families.
KOROI HAWKINS: And the focus is on behavioural reform and keeping families together is it?
MTSLC: Yes, yes that is the main focus that is why we work around families it is about the behaviour. It is about bringing families back together. It's about understanding each other because sometimes when they are angry they do not know what they are saying they are very abusive so that is why, instead of just sending them immediately to prison they go through these programmes and see how things will come back into their families. So it has been good and a lot of families have come back together on it and for the first year of 127 men that came through this programme only one reoffended. But that reoffending was not for the same case that he was brought to the programme.
KH: Once they have graduated do you continue working with them is their a continuation of your programme?
MTSLC: Yes, yes we do that. Remember inside villages Victim Support has a pool of village representatives and inside villages that is where the pastors are involved, the church is involved, our village reps are involved and for anything else that is much needed for them or if there is any anger that arises they will immediately contact us and that has been happening for the three years now. So we always keep monitoring we know that what is happening inside these families we know that. But sometimes we bring in the couple and then we counsel the couple. But they will still ask for help if they know that there is small help that they need.
KH: What are some of the ongoing challenges or difficulties that you feel still need to be addressed or what could be done to improve your programme in your view?
MTSLC: Because this programme is not funded we have to use any means that we can to help them to meet this reality. Also that is also a struggle for us as well trying to find donors so that they will be able to help us in what we are doing. So with the help of the community coming together we embrace the fellowship of the pastors and the churches that is how we are able to get facilitators and counsellors as well. So everybody is taking up the responsibility and we all come together to help each other. It is not only a program for men as well we also run a program for women from the court but yes that is the biggest challenge that we will have to, we just have to get funding. Because most of these people do not live in town, they are quite far and at the same time to have this programme work we also deal with the employers so that these people will have their hours, their time out, so that they would be able to attend the programme.
KH: It sounds.
MTSLC: So there is a lot of writing there is a lot of things, there is a lot of reporting and going back to court as well.
KH: And your vision, as president, your vision for this where do you want it to go what is the ultimate goal for you?
MTSLC: I want to see that it gets less and less inside court. I want to see the success of it. What we are doing is that we are creating a peaceful environment and having this and having our men educated. The vision is that fewer people will attend the programme.
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