Gender-based violence impacts every country and is a worldwide problem affecting millions of women and girls.
The global campaign called the 16 days of activism is another way to draw attention to the plight of women and girls facing violence and death at the hands of men.
The campaign runs every year from the 25th of November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to the 10th of December, Human Rights Day.
In Niue, for the past two years, domestic violence cases make up two percent of the cases investigated by the Police.
Chief of Police Tim Wilson said that they report in the financial year period from July 1st to June 30th annually. For the period 2020/2021, Niue Police attended to nine cases of domestic violence. In the following year 2021/2022 they responded to six cases but for most of these cases, the victim would often not pursue the case to court, making it difficult to achieve a conviction.
Since July 2022, there have been zero reports or investigations into domestic or family violence incidents but the Police are also aware that the Christmas and New Year festive season is also a time when there is a spike in cases.
Chief of Police Tim Wilson says that this is an important issue calling for an end to the violent behavior of men and encouraging women and girls to contact the Police for help.
“This is an important issue around the world and we want people if they’re experiencing this trauma and this kind of crime to come forward. We have ways of trying to help them, whether it’s through community services, whether it’s through the Akoakos (Pastors) of the villages, or however, we want to find ways to solve this problem for people” said the Chief of Police
Chief Wilson said that unfortunately for most of these cases they have seen, the women will not want to pursue the matter towards a court conviction and just want the Police to stop the domestic violence incident that night.
Chief Tim Wilson told BCN News that they want families to live peacefully and happy and they are there to provide support when needed.
“We just want to make sure that people are living peacefully and happily and if there’s a way that we can provide support to families or the government can provide support to families.
We find this as a generational thing, it’s a cycle that keeps going we really want to help people break those cycles and prevent that from continuing in the future” said Tim Wilson
The recent passing of the Family Relationship law providing for the first time a domestic violence law is a positive step because it means that there is now a specific law for domestic violence but it will not mean any changes to the way they investigate and prosecute cases.
Chief Wilson told BCN news that investigating gender-based violence or domestic violence is very similar to any other investigation but Police officers will also be receiving training in New Zealand towards the end of next year.
“Domestic violence investigations are very similar to any other type of investigations especially here in Niue where we are so closely related or connected anyway. We’re happy that we’ve been able to work with New Zealand (counterparts) a lot over the last year, year and a half, and coming towards the end of next year in October we will actually have a Police College training that’s set up specifically for Niue and the Cook Islands. So we’ll be able to send people down, we’ll send our new recruits down and some people who’ve been around for a while so hopefully that will also increase our capacity to be able to train and help our officers be better equipped” said Chief of Police, Timothy Wilson.