Welcome to our new e-newsletter “Tusitala”. Robert Louis Stevenson was named “Tusitala” when he settled in the village of Vailima on Upolu, meaning the “Teller of Tales”. Pacific Islanders are expert in story telling, using it to share knowledge. The Tusitala Newsletter will be use as a platform for the Alliance to share our knowledge and stories with you regarding eliminating domestic and sexual violence in our community.
We hope you like the new design, new format and new ways of sharing our knowledge and news with you! Each month you'll get informative articles about prevention and awareness regarding domestic and sexual violence.
Each month we will highlight stories from the community to promote how we can change the lens in which we view violence, and help to lessen violence in our community. You will notice a new section for training events the Alliance and its partners host. Maybe you have a family member or friend who may benefit from the information in our e-newsletter - please share!
Each newsletter will also be sent via email, or posted on our as website, Facebook page and Twitter. Yes, that’s right, American Samoa Alliance against Domestic & Sexual Violence recently (finally!) joined Instagram, and twitterverse. You’ll be provided access to those sites in our October newsletter.
We always welcome your feedback as we strive to be your resource center for all systems that create domestic & sexual violence. We will introduce sections focused on wellness and healing to promote healthy recovery in our community.
Jennifer F. Tofaeono,Executive Director
American Samoa Alliance against Domestic & Sexual Violence
The Alliance team (Board Members and Staff) held its first ever Strategic Planning Workshop facilitated by PRIME Consultants Group through Mrs. Luana Yoshikawa-Scanlan, and Va’a Tofaeono.
For our data we used gaps assessments produced by the Alliance Team, and evaluation provided by PRIME Consultants to determine our Strategic Goals and Objectives. It was important we ensured these goals ensure align with our vision and mission statement.
We focused on Steps, Actions, Goals to promote 1) Victim safety, 2) Perpetrator Accountability, for Domestic Violence. We identified ways to ensure 3) Victims of Sexual Assault Healing 4) Community Accountability—and ensuring for DVSA there is a component for 5) Prevention.
A great way to focus on the value of the work as we support our vision: “An American Samoa where individuals love free of violence with equality, dignity, and respect.”
The work continues over the next 90 days as we develop our objectives. Our goal is to have a completed draft by October 1, 2019.
Changing the Lens in which we view violence can be a daunting task. Domestic and Sexual violence is prevalent in our community. Stories in the newspaper depict the many types of domestic, family and sexual violence in American Samoa. The Alliance works with partners in the community to eliminate violence, and our first approach was to ask our community what did they feel.
In 2017 the Alliance team asked key informants, “Does the Fa’a Samoa (Samoa Way) promote Domestic Violence?” One participant responded, “When we say Fa’aSamoa, Fa’aSamoa of when? Is it now? Or is it the time of the missionaries?? (2017). The picture attached is the picture of women who supported the Mau, a non-violent movement for Samoan independence from colonial rule during the first half of the 20th century. Domestic and Sexual Violence are result of oppression, cruel or unjust treatment, causing mental pressure or distress, and we recognize a movement, like the Mau, needs to happen to eliminate violence in American Samoa.
How will the Alliance measure success? I’ve read fixed mindsets are born with talent, or want to be seen as perfect. Growth mindset people have desire to learn, improve and develop. Predators of domestic & sexual violence prey on those with fixed mindsets. Victims continue to hide behind a veil of silence.
The Alliance believes in growth mindsets to change the lens in which we see domestic & sexual violence there needs to be authentic and real discussions for growth. We ask that you take the journey us as we continue a movement.