World Vision Solomon Islands joined more than a 1,000 people to march through the streets of Honiara to show their support for ending violence against women and girls. As the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence kicked off on Monday, World Vision stood united with the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs to support passing the Child and Family Welfare Bill which outlines how the government will promote the well-being and development of children and protect them violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation and the Family Protection Bill which addresses domestic violence. Both bills are currently being considered by the Solomon Islands Government.
Evidence tells us that two out of three women in the Solomon Islands experience violence in their lifetime and 38% of women report their first sexual encounter is forced. These staggering rates of violence are some of the highest in the Pacific and the consequences impact everyone in the Solomon Islands.
World Vision hopes that new legislation and improved support services will curb these staggering statistics and create safe secure homes and communities for children.
In addition to working with the Solomon Islands Government to eliminate gender based violence, World Vision is using an innovative biblical approach to address gender violence through its Channels of Hope for Gender projects. The projects aim to reduce gender based violence using the Channels of Hope methodology that provides church leaders, community leaders, police and service providers with improved capabilities for addressing and reducing gender based violence in their communities. World Vision has two Gender projects in Guadalcanal Province (Honiara and Weather Coast) and one in Temotu Province as well as a Channels of Hope for Royal Solomon Islands Police Force project which aims to change attitudes and behaviours of Royal Solomon Islands Police Force staff to more effectively address gender based violence together with churches and communities.