Domestic Violence Unit Responds

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Spokesperson for Samoan Police. Unrelated to the story attached. [Photo: TM]

A Representative of the DV Unit, someone named Sina commented on Sefulu Ono Aso in response to the recent article on the conduct of one of their officers during an emergency call. She wrote: “It saddens me that you didn’t report this to the Officer In charge of the Domestic Violence Unit. You mentioned that a police officer responded to you but you have no proof if that officer is from the Domestic Violence Unit. They definitely do not respond to calls by saying “Hello”. Calls and reported matters are taken seriously. The Domestic Violence Unit works closely with the Samoan Victim Support Group (SVSG) to ensure all victims receive adequate advice and support.
The Family Safety Act 2013 being passed has been of great assistance for victims of need of Protection Orders and Shelter. The Samoa Police DVU has been dealing with more and more domestic dispute, whether minor or serious. Every call is taken seriously and it’s good to hear negative feedback from the public so that we can deal with police officers who have this kind of attitude as this will not be tolerated. A wise person would go and lodge a formal complaint about this instead of publicizing false accusation against the Samoa Police Domestic Violence Unit.
Don’t you think it would have been better to get your facts and information right before you start giving the Domestic Violence Unit a bad name and reputation.
I assure you the Samoa Police Domestic Violence Unit DO NOT respond in that kind of manner. The Samoa Police Domestic Violence Unit will not rest until they find out who the officer is and have him dealt with accordingly to Police Regulations, but I apologise on behalf of that police officer who did.
I am sorry but I can’t be patient about this with all the negative comments being bashed at the Samoa Police Domestic Violence Unit for being accused of something they didn’t do. Oh and another thing, the Samoa Police Domestic Violence is not receiving funds from Australia, thank you very much.”

 

Dear Sina,Thank you for responding to the post, and I am happy to see that this case has eventually reached you.

The officer did not say ‘hello’ the transcript is translated, the officer said: “DV Unit, talofa.” The whole conversation is not transcribed in the blog, but trust me if it was, it would be more embarrassing than what was transcribed. But the essence is this, the officer giggled on numerous occasions, was not serious about the call, and the caller had to apologize several times during the conversation as he seemed not to care that an abuse was being reported.

The facts are straight, a woman was being beaten up, a call was placed, the officer did not take it seriously, there was no guarantee that they were going to visit the victim.

I would hope that instead of being defensive and play the blame game, that instead you contribute to ensuring that your officers are better trained for such calls.

Ma le fa’aaloalo lava,

Sefulu Ono Aso

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I made the mistake of calling the Police

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dv

Photo by Newham London, adapted by Sefulu Ono Aso to Samoa by insertion of local emergency phone number. 995.

Three nights ago I heard my neighbour getting beaten up by her husband. They fight often, so sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the pots and pans being thrown in a fit of rage or the wife being beaten up, but two nights ago it was very obvious it was the blows to her body that I heard. It was about 12am when I went to fetch a glass of water in the kitchen, and I heard her scream : “If this life did not belong to God, I would be dead because of what youre doing to me.” That’s when I knew it was serious. So I called the Police. This is how the call went, translated, word for word.

I ring 22222.

Five rings, a Police man answers.

Police: Talofa Police Station

Me: Hi, can you put me through to the Domestic Violence Unit.

Police: Ok, hold on.

Phone rings, 5 times.

Domestic Violence Unit Officer picks up: Hello.

Me: Hi, i’m calling to report an incident in my area.

DV Officer: Who is this?

Me: Does it matter who I am? Anyway it’s Sina and I am calling from V**** to report my neighbour is being beaten up by her husband.

DV Officer: Where are you calling from?

Me: I’m calling from the road opposite M** Supermarket, but the road the incident is taking place is the one down from mine, so our house is behind the house of the couple.

DV Officer: Oh so you are on the road that the A**** (Cabinet Minister) lives on.

Me: Yes.

DV Officer: That’s the same road that a Police Officer lives on too. (He names the guy here)

Me: Yes, I know him.

DV Officer: So are you sure it’s not the Police officer beating up his wife? Because he does that you know. (Then laughs)

Me: Look I know these things happen but the guy next door has been at it for an hour and as we speak it is still happening, I need to know that you are going to send someone over to check it out and to save the poor woman.

DV Officer: Well I don’t know where it is, so if we send someone we will call you again.

Me: What do you mean IF you will send someone?

DV Officer: Well it’s pretty late at night, we don’t have a car and well these things happen, theyre probably just sorting something out that she did.

Me: Look I’m really sorry I had to bother you so late at night, but I would feel really bad if I hear tomorrow that the woman is dead and I didn’t call to tell you.

DV Officer: Ok go to sleep now.

The END!

I mean where do I even begin to describe how utterly disgraceful this conversation was. But here is an attempt:

1. He did not promise he was going to send someone. He did not ask for specific directions to the place and he most certainly did not express any sympathy whatsoever with what was happening.

2. So let me get this straight, you are informing me that one of your own is also a wife beater? and that if it was him it’s OK?

3. What if I was the victim and I had ten seconds on the phone to tell him that I was being beaten up?

Dear Australia, kindly withdraw all the funds you have invested in the DV unit because it’s a waste of your tax payers dollars!