Dear Editor,

As a concerned citizen I would like to point out the silent stories behind closed doors.

A common vice that is been portrayed in closed doors is domestic violence. Whether this be physical or emotional violence, both women and children experience this in most homes.

Some cases have led to permanent damages on victims whom have no confidence in voicing their pain or even reaching out to legal support.

About 60% of women experience violence from their lifetime physical / or sexual intimate partner, and children also encounter such behaviors.

Children who are in need of medical attention tend to be neglected by abusive parents. Communities are aware of this issue and it is present worldwide.

Bringing a dowry to the women’s family for an exchange in marriage should not be an encouragement on using domestic violence as part of custom.

Women whose bride price has not been fully payed are more particularly vulnerable: they are more than 2.5 times more likely to experience violence than women whose marriage did not involve bride price. Women and children are not objects that can be bought on a shelf.

What can be done by legal sectors to reach out to these silent stories behind closed doors? Is the Family Protection Act protecting all, especially the silent ones? I ask these questions to myself and those reading.

What must be done to ensure a safe and better Vanuatu for the future.

Sincerely,

Emily T. Bakeo

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