Women flee

HONIARA – Increasing domestic violence in Solomon Islands is being blamed for the rise in the number of women and children seeking shelter in a care-centre in Honiara.

The Church of Melanesia’s Christian Care Centre’s director, Sister Doreen Awaiasi, says she is having to turn people away as the centre is at full capacity.

Sister Doreen says awareness campaigns against gender-based violence are starting to make headway and the new Family Protection Act makes domestic violence a crime.

But she says there aren’t nearly enough safe places for women and children, with her centre being the only one of its kind in the country.

“In terms of safe homes, where women can come away from any violence, we don’t have other places in the Solomon Islands as we run the Christian Care Centre. There is no other safe home. Like at home, people can go to their family, but in terms of confidentiality, people, they will find them.”

Sister Doreen Awaiasi says in rural areas where there are no police stations or women’s organisations, domestic violence is not being reported.