THE norm under the cultural pretext in our societies that domestic violence is a private business has gone.
Domestic violence and violence against women and children are now criminal offences.
Pioni Boso of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family affairs highlighted this during a gender equality forum last month.
The aim of the session was to raise awareness on the Family Protection Act 2014.
Ms Boso pointed out domestic violence which is prevalent in the Solomon Islands under the pretext of culture can no longer be tolerated in homes and families.
“It is now a criminal act because Parliament has already passed the Bill and has become a Law.
“We usually see domestic violence as a private matter between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, now it is no longer a private matter after it became Law last year.
“As such, anyone caught or reported to have bashed up their partner, women and children especially as victims, they can be arrested and charged,” she said.
Ms Boso said this is an important message for everybody to know and share it in the communities.
She explained that the Act has key areas which includes ensuring the safety and protection of all persons who experience or witness domestic violence, and implementing certain principles underlying the Convention of the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention of the Rights of a Child (CRC).
The Act has 69 sections.
Domestic Violence (DV) in the Act is defined as ‘a conduct committed by a person (the offender) against another person with whom the offender is in a domestic relationship or the threat of such conduct, that constitutes any of the following-physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and economic abuse’.
“So domestic violence means four things committed within a ‘domestic relationship’ in the Act,” Ms Boso explains.
“We need to implement and enforce that piece of legislation to make sure it touches the lives of women in all rural communities.”
She said key players are making sure the law is rolled out, in terms of priorities to implement the Act.
The Domestic Violence law was passed on August 27 last year.
By TRIXIE CARTER