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COMMENTARY
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-19

Domestic violence in the Solomon Islands


College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England

Correspondence Address:
Mikaela A Ming
18 Aston Hall Drive, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire, HU14 3EB
England
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.184617

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The Solomon Islands has one of the highest rates of family and sexual violence (FSV) in the world with 64% of women aged 15-49 have reported physical and/or sexual abuse by a partner. The National Referral Hospital (NRH) in the capital, Honiara, is the only tertiary hospital for the country. Our 4-week medical elective at the NRH was spent reflecting on healthcare challenges including FSV, with the aim of identifying cases of FSV and assessing on the current strategies to improve care for victims. Throughout our placement, we encountered many cases of probable FSV, particularly in the Emergency Department and Obstetrics and Gynecology. These patients were often not managed effectively, largely due to time pressures and overcrowding in the hospital. However, we identified a number of strategies, which have recently been implemented in order to help FSV victims in the Solomon Islands. These include strategies within the healthcare setting, in particular, the commencement of FSV reporting within the hospital, and the production of a manual to enable healthcare worker education on the issue. Strategies within the criminal justice system are also in place. These include recent changes in legislation and the work of the volunteer police force, Royal Assist Mission to the Solomon Islands, to improve attitudes toward FSV. These approaches to tackle the problem of FSV are currently in their early stages and have largely stemmed from Western policies and ideals. This report concludes that more time is needed to accurately assess the impact of the current changes before further recommendations are made.


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