The Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has congratulated Solomon Islands on its commitment to ending the country's high rates of domestic violence.

RAMSI Special Coordinator, Tim George, said that violence against women and children is never acceptable and it was a very significant step forward that this issue is being tackled openly in Solomon Islands.

"This is an issue that affects everyone, particularly women and children, and needs to be tackled at all levels of society from the Government through to the churches, grassroots community groups and individuals," Mr George said.

RAMSI is proud of the fact that it helped create an environment that has enabled Solomon Islanders in recent years to end the ethnic violence and crimes associated with the tensions.

"Solomon Islanders have already said no to violence in their communities so is its timely that the focus now shift to the violence that may be happening in the privacy of family homes."

Mr George said that men need to recognize the crucial role they need to play both in their homes and in the broader community in combating the high rates of domestic violence that afflicts their country.

"It is important to recognize that domestic violence is a cowardly act that is also recognized as a crime under Solomon Islands law, like any other crime.

Commander of RAMSI Participating Police Force, (PPF) Denis McDermott said that the PPF was committed to working in partnership with the Solomon Islands Police Force efforts to strengthen their response to domestic violence.

"Policing is crucial to this fight as it requires the full and proper enforcement of the country's laws for women and children in Solomon Islands to have the confidence to report these crimes."

RAMSI's comments followed Solomon Islands Minister for Women, Youth and Children's Affairs, Peter Tom, pledge to help eradicate the country's high level of domestic violence. Launching Solomon Islands 16 days of Activism against domestic violence, Mr Tom said the Government was committed to stepping up its efforts to protect women through a range of initiatives including legislation reforms, improved law enforcement, better support services for victims and stronger partnerships with civil society.

Press Release (RAMSI Media)