Gender based violence and child abuse is on the increase in Solomon Islands at a level that people are living with fear especially women and children.

In response to a question raised by the Opposition in Parliament, Minister for Women, Youth and Children Affairs, Johnson Koli, said Solomon Islands is found to be third in rank in terms of prevalence of close partners violence compared to other countries which they had also done similar research.

Research funded by the UNIFEM on gender based violence and child abuse costing $1.9m has been budgeted for this year.

It was revealed that although Solomons has many cases on gender based violence and child abuse, no proper report has been forthcoming to police and medical division.

People feel shame and fear of publicizing such issues, especially when the perpetrator involved is the intimate partner.

As Solomon Islands is a very small and slow developing country, it is sad to see this alarming piece of statistics, Mr. Koli said.

Mr. Koli told Parliament that his Ministry has put in a proposed strategy with the Law Reform Commission, UNICEF, the Regional Rights Resources Team and the UNIFEM to address the issue.

Stakeholders within the government, churches, NGOs, development partners and agencies are also working hard in strengthening the national policy on preventing the issue.

Gender based violence has far reaching high involvement of our people especially young people, therefore it is my business as well as your business to make sure that our women and children in Solomon Islands are living in peace, safe and should enjoy the life free of violence, Mr. Koli said.

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