“Accessing support services should be the same for our people in Upolu and Savaii, especially when addressing family violence,” according to SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang, during the opening of the extended SVSG Office in Tuasivi Savaii. This is important so that our people in Savaii do not have to travel all the way to Upolu to lodge a complaint for cases requiring assistance. The double celebration in Savaii last week was the opening of the renovated office facility for SVSG and the inaugural graduation for offenders of violence, shared a common goal, which is addressing family violence.
From a one-room office to an extended office facility with interview rooms, enough space for the advocacy program for men and women offenders of violence and rooms for survivors of violence requiring a temporary refuge. The extension is necessary to cater for the increase demand for SVSG’s support from our people in Savaii.
The renovated work from building supplies to the construction were all through the volunteer work and donation by the proud SVSG village representatives of Savaii. “Malo le loto nu’u, Fa’afetai le alolofa i o tatou tagata.” Siliniu Lina Chang
Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani-Tuala Warren was given the honors to cut the ribbon to officially welcome the invited guests into the renovated office facility. Included amongst the guests were families of the rehabilitated men and women offenders of violence referred from the Family Court in Savaii, to attend counseling programs with SVSG, who have successfully completed their sessions and were graduating. The newly sworn in member of the Judiciary Judge Talasa Atoa-Sa’aga was amongst the supporters to the event.
Reverend Auatama Esera of the CCCS Fuailalo opened the double celebration with a prayer before Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Papalii John Papalii gave the keynote address. A computer and a printer were also presented to SVSG courtesy of the Ministry of Justice, to further support the work of SVSG.
The inaugural graduation ceremony for offenders of violence in Savaii fits in well the opening of the renovated office facility for SVSG at Tuasivi.
The celebration once again saw the coming together of SVSG’s working partners, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Police, SVSG Village Representatives and families, in celebrating our united stance against family violence.
The Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration in partnership with Samoa Victim Support Group, facilitated an awareness program at Tuasivi College over the week, around the Family Safety Act, in particular, the Protection Order Process.
Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren lead the awareness team including Judge Talasa Atoa-Saaga, CEO of the Ministry Papalii John Papalii, Assistant Registrar Ve’atauia Faatasi Puleiata, and SVSG President Siliniu Lina Chang.
The awareness focused around the Protection Order Process and how this provides immediate court ordered protection for victims of any form of family violence.
Principal of Tuasivi College Mr. Makesi Alai together with teachers and students appreciated the opportunity to be informed of the whole process from the joint partnership of the Ministry of Justice and the Samoa Victim Support Group. This is an ongoing sharing of responsibilities between the Ministry and SVSG in the fight to end family violence.
CEO of the Ministry later presented brochures both in English and Samoan, on the Protection Order Process to the students and teachers as part of the awareness raising program.
President of SVSG Samoa