April is Sexual Assault Awareness month
The American Samoa Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (ASCADSV) is joining the nation in recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Cheryl Howard, Coalition Program Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Washington D.C., is currently in the territory and a special luncheon was held last week at the ASCADSV Tafuna office to “Meet & Greet” the Idaho native, and welcome her to the island, with an abundance of traditional Samoan foods.
It was hosted and prepared by the ASCADSV, a local nonprofit organization established in 2004 that currently assists victims fleeing from domestic and sexual violence by providing emergency and temporary shelter in their Transitional Housing program, under the directorship of Liliu Mailo.
The luncheon began with a prayer by Rev. Tafailematagi Muasau, followed by mutual Question/ Answer dialogue between the NNEDV Director, government department heads and community leaders. Department of Human Social Services Director, Dr. Meki Solomona and Multi-Disciplinary Team Chairwoman, Mitzie Jessop, spoke on the prevalent domestic and sexual violence issues ailing our island Territory, and proposed initiatives that would effectively address those issues.
The ASCADSV director reiterated the importance of local government and community faith-based leaders coming together to collaborate and network and share resources, "as we see the rise of domestic and especially sexual violence cases” in American Samoa and was highly appreciative of everyone taking time out from their busy schedules to attend the luncheon.
Mailo told Samoa News ASCADSV prays for peace and hope for all victims and families affected by this societal disease, and wishes success for all the activities and events held promoting awareness to prevent and end sexual violence, as we commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month. “Our message and prayer is NO MORE domestic violence, NO MORE sexual violence… NO MORE.. for American Samoans and our children” said Mailo.