National Council of Churches hits back at Commission’s findings on domestic violence

By Rula Su’a- Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 03 OCTOBER 2018: The Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Reverend Ma’auga Motu, is defending church ministers and churches in Samoa over a report saying the churches are not doing enough to help eliminate family violence in Samoa.

Findings by the Commission of Inquiry into Family Violence in Samoa specified different types of family violence committed in Samoa.

These include sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal and non-verbal, child abuse in terms of pornography and graphic images internet.

The report stated that the church ministers and churches in Samoa are not doing enough to help with the growing problems of family violence and abuse in the country.

The Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Reverend Ma’auga Motu

According to Ma’auga, now that report is released, and is critical of the role of the church and ministers, they should at least call a meeting with all pastors from all churches.

“The commission should have called a meeting with all church ministers to discuss the report findings before they released it.”

He added that some church ministers have not seen the report, so they have no idea what is in the report.

“At least that is what they should do.”

What concerns the Commission of Inquiry is the approach by church ministers that often counsel the victims of family violence into returning to an abusive relationship and being placed at risk of further harm.

Their findings also implicated setting a limit to financial church obligations because financial struggle in the homes leads to domestic violence.

Ma’auga said the only solution is for every church in each village to gather once a month to engage in discussions and get to know and perhaps identify any couples who are having problems.

The findings by the Commission will be presented to Cabinet.

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