PRESS RELEASE FROM THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN, COMMUNITY & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT – 05 August 2022

August 5, 2022

SAMOA, August 5 - Program to Launch of the Malu i Fale National Multimedia Campaign

The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development today launched the National Multimedia Campaign to Reduce Family Violence in Samoa.

The Ministry for Women, Community and Social Development, in partnership with UNICEF, the European Union, the Samoa Victim Support Group, and key media partners, has committed to deliver a multi-media campaign to promote gender-equitable, child-friendly and violence-free norms, attitudes and behaviors, especially within the family.

The National Multi-Media Campaign to Reduce Family Violence in Samoa, is one of the many significant components of the Spotlight Initiative in Samoa through the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, and aims to raise awareness and improve knowledge and understanding on the nature, causes and consequences of family violence across the whole society, as well as promote social and behavior change in relation to norms regarding gender and violence, among children and adults.

The multimedia products launched today are the first of a series of products and messages that will reach community members in Samoa via mainstream and digital platforms, including television, radio and social media.

The messages in these media products will be reinforced by sustained community dialogues with faith leaders, village chiefs, parents and caregivers, as well as adolescents themselves, to promote behavior change.

In developing these key messages, the campaign team utilized evidence from existing sources and organized consultation workshops with communities to guide their work.

The Associate Minister for the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Seuamuli Fasi Toma, gave the Keynote Address at today’s launch and emphasized “O le atoaga o le puipuiga o fanau iti, o le galulue faatasi lea o Matagaluega a le Malo, Faalapotopotoga tumaoti, Ekalesia ma tagata lautele ae faamoemoe i le lagolagosua a le Malo.  E faavae nei taumafaiga uma i luga o le faavae papa o la tatou aganuu ma le faa Kerisiano e fusia ai i aga tausili o le faaaloalo, alofa ma le tausia o le va tapuia.”

Baseline research on child protection conducted by the Government of Samoa in 2013, showed that children experience significantly high levels of violence both at home and at school.

The 2017 National Inquiry into Family Violence conducted by the National Human Rights Institute found very high levels of intimate partner violence in Samoa.

The Inquiry found compelling evidence that shows that attitudes towards children and the treatment they experience growing up is a significant contributor to family violence.

Most recently, the Demographic and Health – Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019-20 conducted by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics, revealed that nine out of 10 children in Samoa experience severe forms of punishment at home.

The UNICEF Pacific Representative, Jonathon Veitch, who provided the remarks on behalf of the development partners at the Launch, emphasized that “Exposure to violence in childhood is strongly associated with future victimization and perpetration of abuse,” and that “any form of violence decreases a child’s ability to function, and this impact may be irreversible.

Mr. Veitch further added that UNICEF believes that one case of child abuse is already too many. Every child should feel safe and protected at all times.”

This National Multi-Media Campaign therefore has a specific lens on encouraging child protection through the introduction of positive parenting guidance, in the form of engaging trainings, and through the creation of media products that will be widely disseminated via multiple media platforms throughout the country.

The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, with support from its UN and EU partners, civil society organizations, faith based organsations, village committees, families, and young people, will continue to roll out the National Multimedia Campaign to promote a safe environment in Samoa for all children, to live safely and be protected from any type of abuse.

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