Three weeks now into May, as the country slowly starts to re-open after the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the Samoa Victim Support Group are reporting a gradual surge in domestic violence cases reported through the 24 hour free Helpline.
“The majority of the victims are young women ages 19 – 39, who have been evacuated to the Domestic Violence shelter for their safety, together with their children”, confirms SVSG Board Chair, Ms Georgina Lui.
“While it only takes one call through the Helpline to trigger a response to an abused woman’s cry for help, it requires a multisectoral approach to prevent such violent behavior from continuing to compromise the safety of our families,” says Ms Lui.
When survivors and victims of abuse call the Helpline, the response operation is triggered, that includes medical check ups for the women who’ve sustained injuries, a referral to the Police to officially lodge their complaints and psychosocial support thereafter.
“It is a lengthy process for the women and their children, but a vital one to follow through, for their physical and mental wellbeing”, sais Ms Lui.
According to the SVSG Board Chair, the strong partnership SVSG has with the Ministry of Police and the Ministry of Health is key to assisting the women during the response operations; while the accessibility to support services, as provided by Digicel and Vodafone through the Helpline, continues to save the women’s lives.
“The partnership between SVSG and the Government through funding assistance towards eliminating violence against women and girls is therefore timely, as it supports SVSG’s prevention work further.” Georgina Lui
The prevention program is a holistic approach, in collaboration with government, and leaders in villages, churches, schools and across all sectors of business and society. “It is an inclusive program, and a responsibility of a collective, not just SVSG’s”, says Ms Lui.
“Remember, for SVSG’s Response Operation, call us on the 800-7874 Helpline”.
To be part of the SVSG Prevention Program, SVSG asks that you call into any of the villages, churches, schools or youth groups where the programs are being rolled out.
Together, we will continue to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.