Family Support Centre and UN Women Strengthen Relationship to Increase Support Services to Victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

[Press release]

Partner logos: FSC, EU, AusAID, New Zealand and UN Women

Honiara, Solomon Islands — The Solomon Islands’ Family Support Centre (FSC) and UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office (MCO) today launched a new project that increases support services to victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

 The Solomon Islands’ Family Support Centre staff and Manager with UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office Deputy Representative, Sarah Boxall, at launched of new project that increases support services to victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Photo: Courtesy of SI Family Support Centre
The Solomon Islands’ Family Support Centre staff and Manager with UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office Deputy Representative, Sarah Boxall, at launched of new project that increases support services to victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Photo: Courtesy of SI Family Support Centre

The new ‘Increasing Counseling Outreach for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence’ project ensures women and girl survivors of violence have better access to counseling and case management services in the provinces of Guadalcanal, Isabel and Temotu.

FSC’s partnership with UN Women Fiji MCO is supported by the EUR 22.7million Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) programme, funded primarily by the European Union (EUR 12.7m) with targeted support from the Governments of Australia (EUR 6.2m) and New Zealand (EUR 3.2m) and cost-sharing with UN Women (EUR 0.6m).

Solomon Islands is a focus country for the Pacific Partnership that brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG), and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

Smiling faces at the roll out of the REACH pilot in Vava’u and Ha’apai. Photo: Courtesy of SI Family Support Centre
UN Women Fiji Deputy Representative, Sarah Boxall, with SI Family Support Centre Manager, Lorio Sisiolo, at the launch of the new project. Photo: Courtesy of SI Family Support Centre

“This continued commitment from UN Women, European Union and the Australia Government through the Pacific Partnership, supports us in providing better access to victims/survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Honiara, Guadalcanal, Isabel and Temotu. We are happy to be strengthening our counseling and case management services in these provinces,” said Lorio Sisiolo, Centre Manager for FSC.

UN Women Fiji MCO Deputy Representative, Sarah Boxall, said at the signing today: “The launch of this project, among other things, signifies UN Women and FSC’s ongoing relationship in providing essential counseling services to women and girls in Solomon Islands. We’re pleased to continue this work through the Pacific Partnership.”

The Increasing Counseling Outreach for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence project, which also includes para legal services, will increase provincial services to meet the growing number of women and girl survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) seeking counseling support – the result of awareness raising campaigns and new provincial SAFENETs in Isabel and Temotu, coordinated by the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs (MWYCFA) and partners.

The project also builds on FSC’s existing collaboration with the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, International Organization for Migration, Pacific Community's Regional Rights Resource Team and the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), who have been supporting FSC with training and strategic support for its counselling and case management approaches.

Prior to the project starting, FSC was supported through a capacity assessment by UN Women in partnership with the IWDA. The two agencies will continue collaborating to support FSC through separate projects, which share a common goal to improve the quality and coordination of response services for survivors of GBV especially in rural areas.

UN Women’s support focuses on office accommodation and staffing: five counsellors in Honiara, sixteen volunteer counsellors in Isabel and Temotu, and one driver in Honiara to accompany survivors through a referral process. Through this partnership, all counsellors (staff and volunteers) will be supported with regular capacity building and supervision.

UN Women further supports counselling staff by working nationally and regionally to develop and implement GBV and domestic violence (DV) counselling competencies aligned with the DV counselling guideline and registration requirements in each Pacific country.

IWDA will continue to focus on organisational development support for FSC including formal diploma level certification of counsellors.

Media Contacts:

Hilda Mungale
Communications Officer | Ph: (677) 26999 | Email: hmungale@gmail.com

Shazia Usman
Communications and Media Specialist
UN Women MCO Fiji | Email: shazia.usman@unwomen.org

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

The Solomon Islands’ Family Support Centre (FSC): was established in 1995 to address the high incidence of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse and rape in Solomon Islands. FSC is committed to improving the quality of life in Solomon Islands by promoting awareness of people’s rights to live in peaceful, non-violent and non-abusive families. It is dedicated to raising the status of women and children and empowering individuals in making decisions that would enable them to enjoy safety in their lives; and to raise the status of women and children through the delivery of services offered. FSC has a holistic approach to responding to and preventing violence by: facilitating access to health, legal aid and accommodation service providers and material resources; providing counselling (including a 24-hour telephone response), legal aid and mediation services; and raising awareness of the need to end violence against women and children.

UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) programme: UN Women Fiji Multi-Country Office’s (MCO) EVAWG programme aims to enable women and girls in the Pacific to live free from violence. It takes a holistic approach to this complex issue, supporting Pacific-led activities to improve policies, to meet the immediate needs of women experiencing violence, and to prevent violence from occurring. UN Women provides technical assistance and support to governments and civil society organisations across the Pacific that are addressing VAWG, with a focus on supporting the adoption and implementation of laws, policies and plans to strengthen access to quality services and to prevent violence.

Pacific Partnership: The Pacific Partnership brings together governments, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG), and increase access to quality response services for survivors. The EUR 22.7million Pacific Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls (Pacific Partnership) programme is funded primarily by the European Union (EUR 12.7m) with targeted support from the Governments of Australia (EUR 6.2m) and New Zealand (EUR 3.2m) and cost-sharing with UN Women (EUR 0.6m).