“No more room for excuses” - Samoa P.M. Tuilaepa attacks domestic violence
Apia, SAMOA — Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi says there is no more room for excuses when it comes to efforts to address domestic violence.
Tuilaepa made the comment during the Samoa launch of the European Union-United Nations Spotlight Initiative on Tuesday. Held at Taumeasina Island Resort, the $148 million tala project aims to eliminate violence against women and girls.
Tuilaepa made reference to two studies carried out on Family Safety and Family Violence by the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development the Ombudsman’s Office which reported high prevalence of violence in the family and in particular against women and children.
“The Family violence report by the NHRI was the first of its kind for Samoa and the Pacific Region. The report put a “spotlight” on gender-based violence through its wide consultation process, which included village consultations, public and closed hearings and written submissions,” he said.
“The sad and alarming findings leave no more room for excuses. It is time to focus on action. That is why this Spotlight event and initiative is timely. It should help continue to lift the veil of silence hiding the realities of family violence and keep the spotlight on Gender based violence.”
Tuilaepa again called upon political leaders, traditional and religious leaders, fathers, and families to step up.
“Enough is enough!” he said. “Gender-based violence violates the core principles and values of fa’aaloalo (courtesy), va tapuia (respect), and alofa (love) among others, which are the essence of our Faasamoa and Faith.”
“The success of the Spotlight Initiative in the Pacific depends on our commitment as leaders, the support of our partners and the engagement of our communities. As leaders of the Pacific, the change must always begin with us.”