Police recognise role played by churches in family protection

The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has recognised the roles played by local cultures and churches in the implementation of the Family Protection Act 2014.

Gwen Ratu, who represents the office of the Police Commissioner, told a media conference on the Family Protection Act that culture and church have valued roles in the implementation processes of the Act.

“Our culture is something we grow up with, we would sympathise with victims so we will tend to always look after the victim, their children not necessarily in their family unit but in the extended family.

“The churches have certainly played their part as well in providing safety and counselling for the victims.”

Meanwhile the Director of Community Policing Unit Mr. Solomon Sisimia is thankful that ‘church and culture’ continue to play significant roles in the RSIPF community awareness effort.

On 8 April The Solomon Islands officially launched its Family Protection Act 2014 which is aimed at curbing domestic violence in the country.

A Family Health and Safety Study in 2008 showed that 64 percent of women and girls in Solomon Islands suffer from domestic violence.

The Director of the Women’s Development Division in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Women, Youth, Children & Family Affairs says the new act addresses various loopholes in existing legislation including definitions for different forms of abuse.

Speaking at the formal launching of the Act on Friday in Honiara, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the State and its partner institutions can only help victims of family violence if cases are reported to relevant authorities.

Sogavare said for far too long, Solomon Islanders have tolerated, excused and justified domestic violence which means that for a lot of people, accepting violence in the family is entrenched in them – resulting in violent crimes going unpunished and perpetrators walking free.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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