Translated from FaaSamoa by Nicole Palamo-Wilson. A man from Fasitoo-Uta who violently attacked his wife and bit off part of her ear was last week sentenced to four years in the Supreme Court of Samoa.
Elisara Sefo faced sentencing before Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese in the Supreme Court, after pleading guilty to assaulting his wife in May of this year.
Police and sentencing reports revealed the fierceness of the attack, endured by a mother of five who now suffers serious injuries to both her eyes and has lost part of her ear.
In delivering his sentence Samoa’s Chief Justice sent a stern reminder that crimes of this nature will not be taken lightly by the Court.
Satiu reiterated the need to hold the accused accountable for the harm done to victims in such cases.
The Chief Justice said appropriate sentences must take into account the severity of the offender’s actions.
The most extensive and detailed study on Family Violence in Samoa was conducted by the National Human Rights Institute (NHRI) under the Office of the Ombudsman.
That report which includes detailed testimonies of victims and survivors across Samoa found that IPV (intimate partner violence) constitutes a large part of the violence in homes.
Two in three Samoan women (67%) live in violent intimate partner relationships. Of those women 86% report being kicked, punched, slapped or beaten by an object, while 24% are subjected to choking. Just under 10 per cent of female respondents reported to have been raped by a family member in their lifetime.
The National Public Inquiry into Family Violence Report 2018 recognises the complexities of the issues and includes a comprehensive list of 39 recommendations on practical actions to end family violence in Samoa.
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