This is the message from the Prime Minster Peter O’Neill to community and church leaders, as well as male family members who he said have a natural responsibility to protect their mothers, daughters and sisters.
“A man is a coward if he thinks it is okay to hit a woman, these abusers would not have the courage to hit a man who was bigger than they are, but they hit a woman who is smaller,” the Prime Minister said.
“We have enacted laws to prevent violence against women, but no Government in any country can stop violence against women without the active support of communities.
“There must be zero tolerance in our nation for violence against women, and community leaders must do more to help victims rather than supporting perpetrators.
“Community leaders are not truly leaders if they turn a blind eye to violence against women.
“Every human life matters and must be protected, and domestic violence is totally unacceptable. “Any community or Church leader who turns a blind eye to even a single case of violence against women has let their people down, and has abandoned the Christian principles our nation holds dear.”
The Prime Minister further called on the men in families to take a stand against any violence they see.
“I also appeal to the sons of our nation, if your father beats your mother you have to show that you are a man and stand up for your mother.
“Your mother gave you life, now you must protect her life and show gratitude for her commitment to you.
“The same goes for all the men in families, to brothers, uncles, and other male family members, do not turn a blind eye.”
He said the National Government will increase public awareness aimed at preventing domestic violence. This will be undertaken alongside the commitment of increased resources for police and courts to deal with violent men, as well as increased support for the victims of violence.