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.

The report is now available in both English and Samoan from the Centre of Theology and Public Issues website.