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Lens of Domestic Violence in American Samoa
“within families so it’s NOT a major problem for (American) Samoa as a community, just a problem within the family unit. ”- American Samoa Educator 2017
FACT: Two of every three women in Samoa have been or are being abused by intimate partner violence would cease to exist. Those same women would not report either physical or sexual violence. We share stories of domestic violence, but victims continue to suffer in silence in a way that takes your breath away. The growth of substance abuse on our island will cause a heightened reporting of domestic and/or family violence in our community. Nearly 80% of domestic violence crimes are related to the use of drugs.  Addiction & Violence (2021) website: Addiction center retrieved : https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/domestic-violence/
Another informant implies that DV is not a problem because there are “only maybe 50 cases a year in AS.”
A faifeau from AS surmised, “Some say that culture is one’s identity, and so if one is of violent behavior, would you say their culture is violent? The fa’aSamoa alone is not of violence, but its people are.
Women in American Samoa are 85% of all domestic violence victims. Our victims report that they have been physically, emotionally, sexually beaten. They have been stalked by their abusers, and unfortunately they have been murdered. Victims continue to need support in healing, and resiliency to move from victim to survivor. Our victims/survivors continue to carry shame and the secret of abuse, separating themselves from their support systems. The work we do at the Alliance is to increase education and awareness regarding domestic violence--while promoting healing and resiliency to create healthier families.