When there was not enough money to look after our family, my father becomes frustrated and angry, resulting in my beatings on a daily basis. It started when I was 5 years old. I was the punching bag. The trunk of a banana tree was used to show my father’s anger as well as a Samoan broom. I felt frightened every time I heard my father’s voice outside our home. Other family members including my mother would not stop the beatings for fear of the repercussions. They would stand around while I danced to the brooms tune or carried on with whatever they were doing as if nothing was happening.
One time my sister was the cause of trouble at home but instead of disciplining my sister, again I copped the beatings because I was the punching bag. He was drunk a lot and this contributed to the scars shining like stars on my head, or the ugly bruises on my body. Each scars represented painful memories. One day, I was so scared that after being beaten up so badly, I took refuge at an aunt’s house. It was there that the Police were called and they took me to the SVSG shelter. I was 10 years old.
Since staying at the Campus, I no longer dance to the tune of a broom, my body is healing physically. I am clothed, fed, slept and educated well. I am loved by my family at the Campus, I confided to other children who became my brothers and sisters at the Campus, and who have also been the punching bags of their frustrated parents.
Sadly, my father’s beatings have left an ugly mark on my personality. There are times when I cannot control my anger which led to fighting with other children. I am a kid at 10 years old, and I am still trying to overcome this bad habit In time, I hope I will be able to forgive my father, but for now, the memories are still painful. I pray every night for God’s protection and I know He will heal my inner wounds. One day I hope to become a fire knife dancer, and who know, it could be my future. But for now, my days as the punching bag for my father are over.
“David said, The Lord who delivered me out of the claw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hands of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go and the Lord be with you”
1 Samuel 17: 37
President of SVSG Samoa