The Royal Solomon Island Police Force (RSIPF) has thanked the Australian High Commission in Honiara for donating fuel and communication kits to Seif Ples to assist gender based violence (GBV) survivors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Australian High Commissioner in Solomon Islands Dr Lachie Strahan handed over the mobile phones, power banks, solar panels, USB lights, transistor radios and two drums of fuel to the Seif Ples Deputy Centre Manager Ms Falu Maesugea during a ceremony at the Seif Ples compound at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara on 7 April 2020.
Speaking during the brief ceremony RSIPF’s Gender Coordinator, Staff Sergeant Alice Roteku said: “Worldwide research has shown there are several emerging impacts from the outbreak of COVID-19 on our women.”
“Experiences have demonstrated the impacts can range from an increase in GBV where women are primarily responsible for procuring and cooking food for the family, and with an increase of possible food insecurity as a result of the crisis, may place the women and their children at a higher risk of domestic violence due to heightened tensions in the household,” said Staff Sergeant Roteku
She added: “Other forms of GBV resulting from economic impacts can place women and children at a greater risk of exploitation and sexual violence.”
“We are all here to join forces for a common goal to stop COVID-19 entering Solomon Islands and ensuring that we are prepared with our planning to keep all citizens of this country safe from the virus. Therefore, on behalf of the RSIPF Acting Commissioner, I wish to thank the Australian Government through the Australian High Commissioner for this very timely donation that will assist the survivors of GBV during this pandemic,” said Staff Sergeant Roteku.
Seif Ples has instituted measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Centre has reduced its capacity in order to maintain social distancing. Referral and safety planning are now being conducted via a hotline or at the Centre’s front reception area.
Survivors of GBV can call Seif Ples on the free toll line 132.