The first national inquiry into family violence in Samoa was announced by the country’s ombudsman at this week’s Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers meeting in Apia. Launching next year to investigate the impact of violence against women and girls and tackle its social causes, the inquiry will help to strengthen the systems in place to protect the human rights of the Samoan people.
Samoa’s Ombudsman, Maiava Iulai Toma, said: “We need to do this to address the impact of this on present victims. We need also to address the high tolerance of violence generally in Samoa - it’s Samoan life, that seems to go on and on from generation to generation.”
The Ombudsman presented plans, developed with support and technical assistance from the Commonwealth, to start a national dialogue on the issue of domestic violence and mobilizing all levels of society in Samoa, including traditional and religious leaders.