7 December 2022, Apia Samoa. From the files of FaaSamoa. In a case of corporal punishment gone wrong, a mother from the village of Toamua faces manslaughter charges in relation to the death of her 13 year old daughter.
Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo confirms a 37 year old woman has been charged with manslaughter and armed with a dangerous weapon, with alternative charges of grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm in relation to the tragic incident that took place last month.
Police Commissioner Auapaau says the mother was disciplining her daughter “who had taken off” (sola ese). It is alleged that while the teenager was running from her parent, her mother threw a rock toward that hit her.
According to preliminary findings, the mother allgedly picked up a rock and through it toward her daughter.
The 13 year old was rushed to the hospital where she allegedly died of her injuries. An autopsy report has been ordered to confirm cause of death.
The mother is due to appear in Court to face the charges against her.
Corporal punishment is the most widespread form of violence against children. It is any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort. It is a violation of children’s rights to respect for human dignity and physical integrity.
In a 2018 Conference at Tanoa Tusitala led by the Judiciary to combat violence in Samoa, Justice Vui Nelson Clarence Nelson, then a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said of corporal punishment: “You may call it a smack, but I call it assault.”