By Rula Su’a-Va’ai
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2018: An incident where a mother offered her daughter from her first marriage to her second husband so the daughter can bear a child for her (mother) and her second husband, is described as one of the most disgusting and unbelievable action by a member of the National Enquiry Committee into family violence.
Former Speaker and Cabinet Minister, Tolofuaivalelei Falemoe Leiataua explained it was one of the issues they found out during last years’ National Enquiry dialogue into family violence in the country.
“I thought such behaviour never existed in Samoa,” he told Talamua. “I just cannot believe it.”
The incident was reported from Savai’i and it was never reported to the police.
Chaired by the Ombudsman Maiava Iulai Toma, the National Enquiry Committee is reviewing its report after public and private consultations in Upolu and Savai’i.
Maiava said that what that has been reported and published in the media as well as to the police and courts were just a tip of the iceberg.
“Reports throughout the consultations indicated alarming sexual offending and incest against children were more common occurrences within the Samoan community than people generally would like to think,” said Maiava.
He further explained that what was disappointing was the unconcerned attitude shown by family members towards violence taking place in their families simply because of pride.
The Ombudsman is urging family members, church members and village councils to stand together in combating violence within the families.