Domestic violence in the Solomon Islands is prevalent as SPC’s Solomon Islands Health and Safety Survey of 2009 showed. Sixty-four percent of women aged 15-49 have experienced sexual and/or physical violence in their lifetime by an intimate partner. Furthermore, women generally do not report domestic violence and do not seek the assistance of formal services. In addition, prevailing beliefs and attitudes about VAW remain a challenge throughout the country. Over 70% of women believed that men could be justified in using physical violence against their partner. Cultural practices, such as bride price, complicate the matter further. Domestic violence is still viewed as a private matter between family members in which there should be no outside intervention.
Changing attitudes and behaviour will take many years. However, this project seeks to challenge some of the prevailing norms by enabling women to seek formal protection from the judicial system and through community-directed activities to encourage attitude and behaviour change.
The overall goal of the project is to increase access to justice in Guadalcanal and Malaita for women and girl survivors of domestic violence by:
The project is being piloted in two provinces, Guadalcanal and Malaita. Key development partners for this project are DFAT Solomon Islands, the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary. Funding comes from the United Nations Trust Fund and DFAT Solomon Islands.