MANY young Solomon islanders who left home early and were on the streets have experienced some forms of violence at home.
This was revealed in a workshop on violence against women held for media participants in Honiara last year.
Sister Doreen Awaiasi, who manned the only women’s safe haven Christian Care Centre in the country, said the women’s shelter is receiving increase number of young people who are victims of sexual abuse.
“Many of these young people are children who left home because they experienced some forms of violence and abuse at home,” she says.
“They (young people) no longer find home a safe place to live because of violence and abuse that happen at home.”
Sr Doreen said the forms of violence and abuse could be caused by a close family member or a relative.
She noted youths who are living rough nowadays have left their home at an early age.
“Many youths spoken to who took refuge at the centre said they don’t want to go back home because they found love at the centre. Others looked somewhere for love and caring and manage to find where they feel at home.”
Sr Doreen said this is a serious issue and everyone is responsible to act and addressed it.
“It is our responsibility to help our young people and give them the support that they need.”
According to 2009 Solomon Islands Health and Safety study, Solomon Islands is amongst the highest on sexual abuse in the world.
By TRIXIE CARTER