THE upcoming 2015 16 days of activism would also be used as an opportunity to advocate for the commencement of the Family Protection Act (FPA) 2014.
Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs is organising the campaign.
“The main intention behind advocating for the commencement of the FPA is that the Solomon islands has one of the highest prevalence rates of the violence against women and girls in the world, and therefore, needs our leaders to prioritize and work towards immediately commencing the much needed legislation,” chairperson of the coordination and reporting committee Sarah Buka said.
Ms Buka added that 2 out of every 3 women and girls in the country have experienced physical and /or sexual violence from an intimate partner in her lifetime. But even one is still too many!
“According to the RSIPF, from March to August 2015, more than 500 cases of domestic violence have been reported to the police.”
Ms Buka said Family Support Centre, a service provider for victims of violence, in Honiara has received more than 300 cases of domestic violence since January 2015 and the Public Solicitor’s Office in Honiara has obtained an average of 5 emergency restraining orders each week.
She added that during the campaign the public would be made aware of the importance and benefits of the Act especially in protecting the families.
“During the celebration we want the public at large to be aware and understand the FPA to protect families and not to break them up.
“The commencement of the Family Protection Act would also be included as one of the Key Messages during the event,” she added.
A statement from the key messages will also see an appeal to the government to take responsibility for its people immediately commence the Family Protection Act 2014.
It stated that once commenced, the government must also take responsibility to enforce the Act and ensure all key implementers of the Act have the relevant training to be able to effectively respond to the needs of the “affected person”.
The message also stated that the government must also take the responsibility to inform the people of Solomon Islands about the implementation time frame of the Family Protection Act, and immediately set a date for the commencement.
By LESLEY SANGA