OSIA Rua is among the young generation of youths, who have witnessed and heard domestic violence happening in their communities in Honiara.
Rua had previously participated in a workshop training facilitated by the Honiara City Council (HCC), which aimed to collectively discussed strategies and formulation of policies to deal with socio-economic issues and other emotional and sensitive domestic problems affecting women in the urban setting of Honiara.
Her choice to attend the training was not a coincident but an important opportunity to express her thoughts on the sensitive issues against all forms of gender base violence experienced in the country.
“I have witnessed many painful events and violent incidents of women and girls been violently and sexually abused by their partners. In my community of White River (East Honiara), I have seen many reported and unreported cases of women being harassed and abused within their respective households by men.
“The rate of gender violence faced by girls, women and children has been an increased trend but am very optimistic that future strategies and policies would help to address the current alarming situation,” she added.
Rua is a young female student, who is currently doing her academic studies at the Solomon Islands National University (SINU). She told Solomon Women that her inner fighting spirit is to help combat all forms of domestic violence against women in the country.
She said she was blessed to attend the training and pledged to help in the fight against all forms of gender violence.
“I would like to encourage other women and young girls in Honiara to advocate for change – especially on gender base domestic violence, which includes child abuse, domestic violence, gender and sexual abuse.
“We have a important role to play, as women we should have the courage to speak out, advice and share the right message to help address and reduce the high rate of all forms of violence and family abuse in our respective communities in the country,” she said.
She believes that domestic violence will continue, unless fundamental changes occur.
“There is a massive gender inequality in Solomon Islands society, for example, it is fair to say that women are not valued by their husbands and probably this has allowed domestic violence to thrive.
“It is very obvious to say that men do not regard domestic violence as a serious incident in our respective communities and households, although it is a criminal offence under the family protection law of the country.
“It is time we start to emphasis on educating young future generations about healthy relationships in an effort to prevent problems before they occur in the future,” she expressed.