SOLOMON Islands have one of the highest documented rates of violence against women in the world.
A study in 2009 found that 64 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 who have ever been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner.
Therefore, each year Solomon Islands joins other countries worldwide in calling for action to end violence against women and girls during a 16 Days of Activism Campaign.
The 16 Days Activism Campaign against violence against women and girls begins from 25th November through to 10th December. 25th November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 10th December is the International Human Rights Day purposely linking and signifying that violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights.
The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs together with other partners and stakeholders will coordinate a variety of awareness activities in Honiara and provinces during this 16 days with the theme “Herem vois blo me, stop violence against women and girls.”
The 16 Days Activism Campaign against violence against women and girls in Honiara will commence on Sunday 25th November with a church service at All Saints Anglican Church at 2pm.
A float parade together with awareness talks in some locations from Henderson to White River will take place on Monday 26th. Those wishing to participate in the float are asked to assemble at the Multipurpose Hall between 7am-8am to be picked up to Henderson where the float parade will begin. Various awareness raising activities will be conducted by different stakeholders throughout the two weeks campaign.
The government through the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs has taken some positive steps to promote women’s human rights through its implementation of the Gender Equality and Women’s Development Policy 2016 – 2020 and the National Policy on Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls 2016 – 2020.
The Family Protection Act 2014 criminalises domestic violence provides for the protection of families from domestic violence and to promote safety, health and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence and for related purposes.
The public and each individual is urged to act and speak out against violence as violence against women and girls is not a private matter but everyone’s responsibility.
Acts of violence against women and girls must be reported to the police and other relevant authorities.
If you are or know someone who is experiencing violence, you can access help by calling:
Police: 999 (emergency) or 22999 (enquiries)
Family Support Centre: 20619 or 26999
Christian Care Centre: 7418842
Social Welfare: 20569 or 20686
Seif Ples 24 hour Hotline: 132