Thursday, 18 September 2008 11:11 AM

Divorce Cases High in Solomons

Solomon Islands is among the many countries in the world with high rates of Divorce cases.

Otherwise known as the '02' system, the popular term used for husbands or wives who have either remarried or living with someone else who is not the legal wife or husband.

According to Mrs. Lovelyn Kwaoga, the Family Support Center's counselor the '02' system is critical for families and is increasing at a high rate every year.

According to statistics by Family Support Centre, from January 2007 to December 2007, 374 cases have been reported of women who are victims of divorce or the '02' system.

Relating to the system of '02' or divorce, women are often victims of domestic violence when the husband is accused of a relationship outside marriage.

In most of these reported cases, children are affected severely by their parent's marital problems.

"Take for example if four children is the amount of children per couple. Multiply the four children by the reported cases of 374, you would get 1496 children a year who are affected by divorce or domestic violence. This could mean that girls among this estimated 1,496 children might grow up to fear men or think it is okay to be beaten and treated unfairly by men. Likewise, boys among these 1,496 will grow up to think that treating women these ways is okay," says Mrs. Kwaoga.

According to Mrs. Kwaoga, the 374 cases are only cases reported to the Centre and not taking into consideration many more cases unreported.

Mrs. Kwaoga understands that women who do not often report the case or seek help from the Family Support Centre are scared of what might happen to them if they do report it.

"Divorce cases and domestic violence are not cases that could be handled over night, which is why it takes a lot of time to counsel to get them back on their feet and regain confidence," she says.

"I do not blame culture for the high rate of divorce cases nor religious beliefs. I blame individuals because everyone knows the difference between right and wrong," she said.

According to Mrs. Kwaoga, the '02' system will continue to contribute to alot of long term problems for the country if it isn't stopped.