Filomina Aihunu is a teenager who grew up in Honiara.
Like other teenagers, Filomina has seen and heard for herself domestic violence happening at home.
Her choice to become one of those young advocators against all forms of gender base violence then was no coincidence.
“I have experience it myself and it’s not good,” Filomina told the Sunday Star.
Filomina has just completed training on Gender Based Violence Sensitization (GBVS) facilitated by the Family Support Center, funded by UN Women.
What drives her to becoming an advocator was interesting to note as we sat and chat.
Even at just 15, becoming a mouthpiece to raise awareness on such issues is a challenge.
But expression on her face otherwise was different, a positive and strong inner being who wants to help fight against all forms of domestic violence.
Young Filomina is doing form one at Tanadai Community High School and is her mother’s only child from her first marriage.
She also has younger siblings from her mother’s second marriage, making her the eldest.
She lived a broken household and was instead raised and lived a childhood life with her grandparents.
Filomina is amongst 10 fortunate teenagers between 14 and 29 trained on issues of child abuse, domestic violence, gender and sexual abuse.
According to a 2009 report on Solomon Islands Family Health and Safety Study: A study on violence against women and children:
· Two out of three women aged between 15 and 49 years have been abused and the stories about children being abused are unspeakable, yet violence against women and children has often been the subject of continuous denial and suppression by society…’.
Filomina was actually the youngest of all.
She is a shy young lady who is eager to see change from individuals, families, communities and the country as whole.
A thing she values from the trainings and now equipped with the right information to educate, aware and advice on all forms of domestic violence.
“I am more than happy to share the information I have learned,” she said.
Filomina said she experienced domestic violence but knew very little how to approach or deal with it.
“I experience it, have heard and seen it happen from neighbour families, villages and communities.
“As a child then, it hurts us,” she said.
She said she was lucky to attend the training and pledged to help in the fight against all forms of gender violence
“I would like to encourage other youths that age has no barrier in advocating for change – especially on gender base domestic violence.
“As the most vulnerable age group, we have a role to play,” she said.
Filomina said unlike before, she now has the courage to approach any forms of violence to solve, advice and share the right message.
She urged parents not to do such indecent act infront of their children because it will have long lasting negative impact to their lives.
BY BRADFORD THEONOMI