As a concern citizen, I would like to highlight the increasing reports of violence against women and children in Vanuatu. One of the reasons for this increase is Intergenerational Transmission of Violence which refers to domestic violence (physical and emotional) whereby behaviors are passed on from parent to child and between siblings.
Statistical reports has shown that there is a strong link between partner violence and children exposure to violence. More than 60% of women experienced physical violence by their spouse/partner and their children who witness, and are more likely to show acceptance to violent behavior and may become the victim in the future.
Research has shown that violence is a learned behavior and children who experienced and witness violence between parents, may accept that violence is appropriate and copy this childhood lesson in the adult relationship. Violence against women and children occurs everywhere and is a bad influence to our societies. Report has suggested that more than 50% of children who are violent in school and in communities today are children who have experienced violence at home.
The payment of bride price doesn’t mean that the husband has total control over the women. She may be a wife to her husband not his property, women are the property of God. A husband should be pleased to have her as a blessing, to love, protect and support her in all circumstances but not to treat her as a slave or punching bag. Everyone deserve to be happy and treated equally.
Hence, it is very important for the government to address this issue to protect women and children of Vanuatu, to help support the aim of Free of Particular Average (FPA) for the protection of female living in rural and urban areas where women can have access to protection orders. Police, magistrates and judges should undergo further training on procedures for handling cases. Together let’s put our hands together to eliminate violence against women and children and strive for a better change in Vanuatu.
This article was originally written to the editor of the Vanuatu Daily Post.