Kolonia, Pohnpei: April 17, 2024 – Today, at the Pohnpei State Hospital Conference room, the Domestic Violence Workshop to implement the 2017 Family Protection Act, sponsored by the Pohnpei State Attorney General’s Office, FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs and the North Pacific office of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), commenced with opening remarks from Governor Joseph.

Governor Joseph expressed gratitude to the Attorney General’s Office for organizing the workshop in collaboration with SPC. He also extended thanks to development partners, including the Australian Embassy and UNICEF, for their contributions to addressing domestic violence in our community.

Admitting his lack of firsthand experience with domestic violence, Governor Joseph emphasized its significance as an issue that affects many individuals, more than commonly recognized. He acknowledged the cultural sensitivity surrounding familial violence but stressed that cultural considerations should not serve as a justification for overlooking or dismissing such matters.

Governor Joseph underscored the importance of developing policies that address domestic violence within the framework of our culture, ensuring equality and fairness for all individuals. He affirmed that both men and women are entitled to the same rights under the law, and violence should never be tolerated or excused.

Furthermore, Governor Joseph reiterated his stance on accepting external assistance that aligns with Pohnpei’s cultural values and interests. He emphasized the need for interventions to respect and integrate seamlessly with our local context.

In response, AG Belsipa Mikel-Isom thanked Governor Joseph for his insightful remarks and highlighted that Pohnpei’s State constitution mandates the preservation of our cultural traditions within policy and law. She likened the workshop to air that will breathe action into the Family Protection Act while complementing ongoing initiatives like Pohnpei State‚Äôs Strategic Development Plan (SDP).

The three-day workshop aims to formulate a comprehensive implementation plan for the 2017 Family Protection Act, specifically addressing domestic violence issues in Pohnpei. Through collaborative efforts and dialogue, the workshop participants will work towards enhancing protections and support systems for victims while promoting accountability for perpetrators.

By PIO

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