As the country goes into a 2-days lock down for the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign, Samoa Victim Support Group is reminding our people that ‘Help is not on shutdown.’
As an essential social support service providing a 24 hour free Help Line, shelter facilities and counseling for the abused and the distressed, respectively, SVSG is anticipating an increase in callers to the Help Line during this lock down period.
From experience during the lockdown early in 2020, child abuse increases as the parents and the children were locked down together at home.
Intimate partner violence such as physical, psychological and sexual abuse increases as the lockdown had restricted the movement of women from their houses.
SVSG statistics recorded a 20% increase in domestic violence from 9 – 46 cases during the lockdown period in March 2020.
As such, SVSG will remain on the alert to respond to our people’s call for assistance during the 2-days lockdown; providing counseling support where relevant via the Help Line, while evacuating the victims and those at risk for shelter care, until the violent situations in their homes have been resolved.
The Chair of the SVSG Board, Georgina Lui acknowledges the partnership with the UNDP Spotlight Initiative for supporting SVSG’s response mechanism in place to address gender based violence in the context of the COVID-19.
“Thank you also to the long standing partnership with Digicel Samoa and Vodafone for supporting the free Help Line service to our wider community. Together, we can continue to look out for each other during these unprecedented times.”