THE President of Honiara Vendors Market Association, (HVMA) Moreen Sariki has recently highlighted that men can play a role alongside women to stop violence against women, despite the 2014 Family Protection Act been passed in the National Parliament.
“Men need to understand that solving problems can not only be done by causing violence at home but can be done in a respectful way. That culture we need to be change if we’re going to end domestic violence—because this is not a problem that women can solve alone,” she told Solomon Women at the recent International Women’s Day celebrations in Honiara.
The Honiara Central Market Vendor Association (HCMVA) was formally registered with Company Haus under the Charitable Trust Act in July and has already recruited more local members among stallholders at the Honiara Central Market’s women informal sector of the Honiara City Council.
She said in most societies many women are being discriminated because of our cultures and the ways that they have been brought up.
“Despite all the problems and challenges we face in life, men can still do better things for other women in the Solomon Islands.
“Therefore, as men, they need to start recognizing that domestic violence is our issue to solve. It’s up to us to speak up when we see an abusive relationship. If we know a victim is in trouble, we need to call the police.
“It’s also our responsibility to talk about this issue and teach others what a healthy relationship looks like. It doesn’t matter how you start that conversation. What’s important is having the courage to do it.
“In order to have strong and healthy relationships men have to be exposed to talking about and confronting difficult issues like domestic violence. Whether it’s with friends, families or colleagues, we have to take responsibility for starting that conversation. And we as men need to understand that being able to admit vulnerability is a strength, not a sign of weakness.
She added that by engaging men to make women’s safety is a man’s issue today.
“The approach men speaking to other men about violence against women are a powerful catalyst for change. To stop domestic violence, Solomon Islands need men to stand up, speak out and act before it’s too late,” the President of Honiara Vendors Market Association said.
According to survey and research groups, men around the world who have been involved in efforts to prevent violence against women. The survey revealed that many men who get involved have a personal experience with violence – as child witnesses or survivors of their own child abuse. Still others find their way to prevention efforts through a commitment to social justice.
“Importantly, we found that many men are receptive to violence prevention efforts when they tune in to survivors’ experiences.
“Whatever the pathway, men’s involvement in preventing domestic violence in their families, workplaces and communities can be part of the global effort to promote safety and equality for women, and to end victimization in all its forms.”