Samoa's national inquiry into family violence holds public hearings

Mon 09 Oct 2017

Samoa's Ombudsman launched an inquiry into family violence at the beginning of 2017. The inquiry has just completed several weeks of public hearings, ...

Samoa's Ombudsman launched an inquiry into family violence at the beginning of 2017. The inquiry has just completed several weeks of public hearings, including hearing testimonies from victim/survivors.

Radio NZ reported that Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma opened the public hearings saying:

"The time has come for the Samoan community our community to face squarely the fact that the Samoan home is not the safe place it is supposed to be, by virtue of the cultural and christian values we claim to cherish.

We hope in this national conversation to gain some understanding of what it is that we have been doing or are doing that has landed us in the fix that we are in."

The Ombudsman also spoke out criticising beliefs that blame victims of sexual assault. Listen to an interview with the Ombudsman about the issues and possible solutions.

Survivor and researcher of intimate partner violence Tuiloma Sina Retzlaff presented research and recommendations at one of the hearings. Her presentation is available online.

The inquiry has also held consultations with relevant non-government organisations, government ministries, international partners and community groups.

Follow the Ombudsman's Facebook page for updates about the inquiry. This is the first national inquiry from the Office of the Ombudsman.

Update: The report from the inquiry has been published National Public Inquiry into Family Violence in Samoa State of human rights report (2018).

For more information about the inquiry see the previous NZFVC stories:

Samoa's Ombudsman launches domestic violence inquiry, December 2016

Pacific peoples and family violence: New resources and international meetings, October 2016

For more information about domestic and gender-based violence in Samoa, see the 2017 Samoa Family Safety Study.

Related news

In August this year, a United Nations human rights group visited Samoa to examine the rising levels of violence against women.

The European Union and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat have recently signed a Financing Agreement to address gender inequality and violence against women in the Pacific.

In New Zealand, Pasefika Proud continues to produce resources and run training programmes on working with Pacific communities.

Selected media

Renowned Samoan academic awarded Emeritus Professor title, Radio NZ, 03.09.2018

Samoa Ombudsman questions corporal punishment, Radio NZ, 29.08.2018

Family violence in the Pacific, Press Release: Auckland University of Technology, Scoop, 13.11.2017

Optimism for Samoa family violence curb, Radio NZ, 19.10.2017

Samoa's top lawman says domestic violence unacceptable, Radio NZ, 13.10.2017

Public Hearings Regarding Family Violence in Samoa, Salient, 02.10.2017

Meet the Commission for the National Public Inquiry into Family Violence, Samoa Planet, 14.09.2017

Bluesky supports National Inquiry into Family Violence, Samoa Observer, 23.07.2017

Samoa’s NHRI launches national inquiry on family violence, Asia Pacific Forum, 13.01.2017

Image: Pixabay