Dear Editor,

As a student, I would like to highlight the collective reports of Violence against Women and Children in Vanuatu. One of the common motives that drive this issue is Intergenerational Transmission of Violence which refers to domestic violence (physical and emotional) whereby behavior is passed from parents to child and between siblings.

A statistical report has revealed that there is a strong link between partner violence and Children’s exposure to violence. About more than 55% of women in Vanuatu have been experiencing physical violence by their spouse/partners and their children who witness, and are more likely to show acceptance to violent behavior and may become the victim in the future. Research also indicates that violence is a learned behavior and children who experienced and witness violence between parents, may accept the violence as appropriate and copy this childhood experience when in adult relationships. The report has shown that more than 50% of the children in Vanuatu who are violent in school and communities today are children who are victims of violence at home. Hence, violence against women and children is regarded as suggestive of wider gender inequality in society and occurs everywhere.

The payment of bride price doesn’t mean that the husband has full control over the women. She may be a wife to her husband and not his property. A husband should be pleased to have her as a blessing, to love and support her in all circumstances, but not to treat her as a slave or a punching bag. Everyone deserves to be happy and treated equally.

Therefore, it is recommended for the government to address the issue to protect women and children of Vanuatu, by helping support the aim of Free of Particular Average (FPA) for the protection of female living in rural and urban areas where women can have access to protection orders. Also, it is required for the government agencies, development partners, churches, communities, and individual to work together to ensure that women and children are able to live in a safe and caring environment, free from violence and to strive for a better change in Vanuatu.

Sincerely,

Sam Tasombo

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