Anglican Sisters run only domestic violence refuge in Solomons

The Anglican Church of Melanesia runs the only domestic violence refuge in the Solomon Islands.

It is run by a handful of nuns, one of whom doubles as a nurse.

The Christian Care Centre was established without Government support in 2000.

Now working with the backing of World Vision, they take in women and children brought to them by the police, offering a shoulder, emotional guidance, healthcare and space to recover.

The centre has the look and feel of a school camp – there are rosters on the wall dividing up responsibility for cooking and cleaning among abuse survivors.

Facilities are basic, but there is a library and room for children to play.

Construction of a new building for teenagers to have their own space is under way.

Beyond a locked gate, there is no security – experience suggests if men arrive looking for their partners, they generally turn away when met with no-nonsense nuns speaking with the authority of the church.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that:

  • Two out of three Solomon Islands women have suffered physical violence at the hands of their partner.
  • Nearly two out of three of those aged 15 to 49 who have ever had a partner reported they had been on the receiving end of physical or sexual violence in the past year.
  • More than one-third said their first sexual experience was forced.
  • More than half of all arguments between married couples were found to end in violence.
  • Two-thirds of men believed it was acceptable to hit women in certain circumstances.


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , ,