The latest horrific incident of domestic violence in Samoa over the weekend, which killed two people and destroyed a property, is once again, violence at its ugliest. It is just as Jesus contrasts himself with “the thief.” “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
It happened at the time when the country and the Pacific region were making noises throughout the week here in Apia, on the rights of the child, as the historic 84th Extraordinary Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child was a wrap.
It hit us harder as the Spotlight Initiative was launched in Samoa; a global, multi-year partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
It was a deadly blow to the efforts of all the local and regional Advocates/Activists on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls.
But some things are just beyond our control no matter how tirelessly we work round the clock to eliminate the ugliness of violence from our communities. We will never know what triggered this man on a Saturday afternoon, to kill his wife, to destroy the petrol station where she worked, before taking his own life.
What we do know is that our people, here and abroad, continued to tolerate violence as the norm. While time may heal, the healing will only start once we confront ourselves with the ugly reality of violence; that it leaves us traumatized, broken, lost and for others, it becomes an intergenerational curse passed down to our children.
During this week, we received phone calls, emails and walk in clients who have tolerated violence as the norm, yet, were prompted to come forward due to the horrific incident over the weekend. Some have kept silent for 15 – 20 years. Others have had children of their own, who are going through the same path.
But it doesn’t have to take such a path. The cycle needs to end.
“As the President of the Samoa Victim Support Group, I am calling on our people to help us help you better. If you or someone you know is being abused physically or emotionally, call us on the Help Line 800-7874. No amount of problem warrants an end to a precious life.” Siliniu Lina Chang