Safe to report SGBV as rule of law improves

Seif Ples and OSCTHE victims of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) feel safe to come forward to facilities such as SEIF PLES as the rule of law improves in Solomon Islands.

Seif Ples is a referral centre and clinic dedicated to offering coordinated and comprehensive care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Seif Ples is located at the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Rove Headquarters in West Honiara, and is supported by the RSIPF, Ministry of Police, Ministry of Health and Honiara City Council.

Speaking on the RAMSI-sponsored radio, Talking Truth, on SIBC to mark International Women’s Day celebrations last week, Ms Kim Abbey of Seif Ples said since the establishment of the centre in 2013, they had recorded an increase in the number of SGBV survivors contacting the centre for help.

“More than 3,300 calls were made to the free hotline 132 in 2015 and 459 people came to the centre to be assisted last year. Out of this 57 were men and boys; the rest were women,” said Ms Abbey.

“People are feeling safe to come forward as the rule of law improves especially after the increase of violence during the tension years. This situation will improve as the Family Protection Act, which is expected to gazetted in April, will provide more safety and protection for the survivors of SGBV.”

Ms Abbey emphasised that the acts of violence are not the fault of the victim but of the person who decided to commit the act.

“We at Seif Ples are ready to assist anyone who gets in touch with us. Our door is always open. We never sleep. All you need to do is call the free hotline 132 wherever you are in Solomon Islands and we will do all we can to assist you,” said Ms Abbey.

Seif Ples helps people who have suffered from:

Physical violence; Sexual violence (rape or other), Family violence; and Child abuse.

Services offered at Seif Ples include:

  • Medical first aid;
  • Psychological first aid;
  • Medicine to prevent HIV infection and prevent or treat other sexually transmitted infections;
  • Vaccinations to prevent Hepatitis B or Tetanus;
  • Emergency contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies as a result of rape;
  • Immediate safety and protection available 24/7;
  • Overnight accommodation; and the
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline 132.

Seif Ples provide referrals to other services including:

  • Police;
  • Counselling services;
  • Mental health service providers;
  • Emergency shelter;
  • Pre-legal and legal aid;
  • Honiara City Council clinic network;
  • Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association Family Planning; and
  • HIV counselling and rapid testing.

Source: RAMSI Public Affairs, Solomon Islands