Minister of the Ministry of Women Social and Community Development (MWSCD), Faimalo Kika Stowers has applauded the efforts by the village of Vaie’e Safata to impose a fine of $2,000 on any women beaters.
Faimalo assured Newsline in an interview this week that all other villages should follow through with the plan to include fines for women beaters.
“It is not about fining people but it is ensuring that the whole family collaboratively work together to ensure that none of their relatives gets into a situation where they beat up their wives.”
“The Ministry is very proud of the steps that Vaie’e has taken towards eliminating Violence against women. It is an encouragement for other villages as well, and the ministry is in full support of the initiatives that will definitely make a difference in the communities.”
In response to questions raised by Newsline whether the monetary fine is good enough and effective or whether it is going to be a burden on the families involved, Faimalo responded that she thinks the monetary fine is going to make a difference.
“I am sure none of us has that amount of money to pay for a fine. But I am sure that we can try and work together to avoid having to pay that amount of money because we are not following the village rule.”
“Of course $2,000 is a lot of money. Where do we get the money given that we have a lot of faalavelave to deal with? If that was me being given a $2,000 fine because my son beats up his wife, it will be hard but I try my best to advice my sons so that they will never run in with the law or let alone be fined for beating their wives.”
Faimalo assured Newsline that with the help of the village council and families collectively, people will be able to avoid having to pay hefty fines because of domestic violence.
“It is a serious matter that the ministry and government together will all other government ministries and donors are trying to address and it is always great to see villages setting examples and be mindful of the rights of women in general in their communities.”
Faimalo revealed that the Ministry’s District Development Program that is still ongoing has already covered 26 districts in Samoa. The aim of the program is to ensure that the village council as well as church leaders work hand in hand to help families who have encounters of violence every now and then.