The launch of the policy is a significant step towards preventing domestic violence and ensuring the safety and well-being of families. It was created through consultation with various stakeholders, including, the Australia Federal Police (AFP) led Samoa Australia Police Partnership (SAPP), judicial members, Samoa Police Executive, Domestic Violence Unit, and the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG)
The theme of the policy is “Fa’asamoa, Faith and Samoa Culture are not excuses for Family Violence” which reflects the need to challenge cultural beliefs that may enable or tolerate domestic violence.
Under the new policy, Samoa Police will respond promptly and professionally to all reported cases of family violence to ensure the safety and well-being of families and prevent reoffending. All members of the force are expected to effectively and efficiently carry out their duties in the implementation of the policy.
One key feature of the Family Violence Policy is the No Drop Policy, which addresses cases where victims withdraw complaints due to fear or other pressures. With the implementation of this policy, Samoa Police is committed to pursuing cases of family violence to the fullest extent of the law, even if the victim no longer wishes to proceed.
The policy launch event took place last week and was attended by representatives from all four outposts, including Tuasivi, Asau, Vaitoomuli, and Fagamalo. As a part of the awareness, the Asau Outpost also performed a skit to illustrate the ongoing stigma surrounding domestic violence in Samoa and to emphasize the need for actions to speak louder than words.
The policy was initiated by Assistant Commissioner Papalii Efo Moalele, who has worked tirelessly to develop a Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) Policy to guide police officers in the execution of their duties.
“Since my appointment as Assistant Commissioner, I have been advocating for the development of a Domestic Violence Unit policy to provide guidance for police officers in carrying out their duties. I am pleased to see that our efforts have yielded fruitful results, and this achievement is a significant step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities.”
SAPP Policy Advisor Warren Johnston, who worked closely with the DV Unit to develop the Policy commended AC Papalii Efo and the team for reaching this significant milestone
“The Family Violence Policy and Procedure has been developed and implemented to support the Samoa Police and victims of domestic violence in addressing incidents of family violence and accessing appropriate pathways for legal recourse or support” said Mr Johnston. “Assistant Commissioner Papalii Efo played a pivotal role in driving the creation and implementation of this policy. We are pleased to announce the official launch of this policy.”