Domestic violence is a serious social problem in Samoan communities.
The statistics say it all; nearly half of Samoan women have been subject to abuse by intimate partners or parents.
Dr Mercy Ah Siu-Maliko, a Harold Turner postdoctoral fellow with the Centre of Theology and Public Issues, hopes to address the problem of domestic violence in Samoan communities by exploring a constructive Christian response based on Samoan cultural values.
Recent reports have highlighted the importance of cultural context and cultural values in response to family violence; this is particularly true for the Samoan Community where 99.7% of Samoa’s population belong to a church.
Dr Mercy’s latest report highlights the interface between Christian faith and family violence in Samoan communities. Her work makes available a set of resources specifically for the church, to help them address the problem of family violence.
The report was launched at a well-attended Forum at First Church of Otago in August and the Ministry for Women hosted a discussion of the report in Wellington with representatives from churches, agencies, government and other stakeholders in September.
It is hoped the report will also make a significant contribution to the Prime Minister of Samoa’s recently launched Commission of Enquiry into domestic violence.