11 July 2020 BSP SAMOA | “Domestic violence and sexual abuse exist in the shadows, and to help those who are suffering in silence, we must make a stand to bring these issues to light,” says BSP Samoa Country Head, Taituuga Maryann Lameko-Vaai.
A mother of two, Taitu’uga Maryann is determined to add her voice to many, in calling out the perpetrators of violence because she like many, believes that violence thrives in silence.
She said: “It is important for everyone and perhaps more so for men, to stand up in solidarity with survivors of family and sexual violence and gender based violence because as statistics show, men are more likely the perpetrators of such violence.”
Taitu’uga’s message comes out as Bank South Pacific observes the second week of its #BlackThursday campaign by joining the call to action by CIMC Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee. The Consultative and Implementation Monitoring Committee (CIMC) is a private non-profit research institute based in Port Moresby and administered by the Institute of National Affairs (INA)
Taitu’uga recognises that domestic violence is prevalent in Samoa and under BSP’s Group Family and Sexual Violence Policy; staff across the group are able to seek help through in-country partnerships established for referral pathways.
She strongly believes that modelling good behaviour starting at home and being a positive role model to children will help bring about a changed generation where children are taught that violence is wrong and that it is a crime.
“We all have a responsibility as parents, as leaders and as a community, to teach our children strong Christian values that are based on love and respect.” Taituuga said. “And it is through promptly reporting matters to the authorities when we witness violence being perpetrated that the victims get the help they need before it’s too late.”
She encouraged perpetrators to seek help promptly as this is an issue that breaks down families whereby children become victims as well.
“Our children should be our inspiration to reform ourselves,” she concluded.
BSP launched its largest social justice awareness campaign #BlackThursdays on Thursday 2nd July, 2020, and will continue to observe this throughout the month of July, standing in solidarity against family and sexual violence and gender based violence.