Last week World Vision, Solomon Islands, facilitated a strategic workshop on behalf of the Christian Care Centre (CCC) with the aim of developing a framework and a five year plan.
This plan will enable the CCC to effectively provide access to appropriate, quality support and a safe place for survivors of gender based violence and child abuse.
Sister Doreen, Coordinator of the Christian Care Centre, said “I am very happy with what was achieved at this workshop. The CCC now has a directed and targeted plan that will help us to achieve our goals, build staff capacity and improve services for women and children”.
The workshop brought together stakeholders and partners who work closely with the CCC including representatives from the Church of Melanesia, the Public Solicitors Office, the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, the Family Support Centre and AusAid. Representatives from the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre and the Women’s Crisis Centre in Vanuatu also came to the Solomon Islands to participate in the workshop as key regional stakeholders.
“It was good to involve other stakeholders and work with others from Fiji and Vanuatu. I would like to thank World Vision very much for their support and for bringing us together for this workshop,” said Sister Doreen.
The effects of gender based violence are far reaching and impact the physical and mental health of the survivors of violence, disrupts families, impacts children’s emotional wellbeing and behaviour and causes women, girls and children to fear for their personal safety.
The Christian Care Centre’s mission is to provide pastoral care for all women and children who have been victims of any form of violence. The CCC also provides educational programs for the general public toward the prevention of domestic violence and abuse.
Sister Doreen said “Our next step is to develop an implementation plan. We are in the process of securing funding to kick-start our Rainbow Wing which will provide a separate space for women and girls so that we can provide better services for them.”
Gender-based violence is a major issue in the Solomon Islands. As part of the World Vision Honiara Community Vision for Change project, a baseline survey was conducted by World Vision in partnership with the Australian National University. The results found that 36% of women knew of instances of family violence in the last week and over 50% of all arguments between husband and wife lead to physical violence.
The results of this survey confirmed the findings of a study conducted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in 2009 which found that two out of three women have experienced physical and/or violence from an intimate partner, with 38% of women stating that their first sexual experience was forced.
To address the issue of gender based violence in Solomon Islands, World Vision started a three year church partnership project in April 2013 aimed to strengthen the Christian Care Centre. World Vision also has five projects across Honiara, Temotu and the Weather Coast that use the Channels of Hope approach to address gender-based violence.
The projects provide church leaders, community leaders, police and service providers with improved capabilities for addressing and reducing gender based violence in their communities.
Channels of Hope is designed to engage people in a manner that challenges attitudes and behaviours towards women that perpetuate gender based violence and motivates a sustained and effective response to issues that threaten the wellbeing of communities.
Source: Press Release, World Vision, Solomon Islands