Family violence – Council of Churches insulted by report’s findings

family violence

Samoa’s National Council of Churches has described as “insulting” an Office of the Ombudsman report that blamed them for exacerbating family violence.

The report says:

  • Traditional village councils and the church have been complicit in maintaining the veil of silence on the issue
  • The church is generally failing in its role to prevent family violence
  • The church is reinforcing the patriarchal framework which underpins family violence
  • Church contributions are spiralling out of control through competitiveness, and a failure of churches to control amounts, leading to undue financial pressures, which in turn trigger a greater prevalence of domestic violence

The National Council of Churches’ general secretary, Reverend Ma’auga Motu, says the criticisms were unjustified as church ministers play a big part in addressing issues relating to domestic violence.

“How insulting are the findings of this report, we have been working with the Ministry of Women to conduct consultations in the villages, through the church ministers.”

“It is disheartening to read about the hard work of church ministers being degraded by this report.”

The setting up of a Family Violence Prevention Office is the lead recommendation, out of 39, made in a report.

Recommendations directed at the churches include:

  • Churches increasing their capacity to deal with domestic violence
  • Preventing placement of victims in situations that risk further harm
  • The need to consult and establish a national guideline for church ministers when dealing with victims and perpetrators of family violence
  • Traditional village councils and churches providing backup for a government-led strategy


Additional reading

News category: Asia Pacific.

Tags: , ,