Solomon Islands has high rates of violence in families – with 64% of women between the age 15 – 49 years found to have experienced sexual and physical violence by an intimate partner. In response to this pressing security issue, Solomon Islands Government has taken a number of measures including the gazetting of the Family Protection Act 2014 (FPA) in April 2016.
Key government agencies such as police, justice, women and health were collectively trained in a whole-of-government response to provide services to advance protection and safety of women and girls. These agencies are referred to collectively as service providers in the report and are the implementers of the FPA in Solomon Islands. The FPA includes options for women to take out Police Safety Notices, Protection Orders, pursue court cases and obtain other services such as counselling.
Three years later, in April 2019, this research project began fieldwork to ask women what their experience was of using services under the FPA and whether these services had improved their personal sense of safety. This study aims to learn from survivors’ stories – particularly about how they have accessed, used and received support from the service providers as stipulated by the FPA – to examine the effectiveness of the legislation functions from a service user perspective. Through gathering and comparing the perspectives of women survivors of violence, this report has identified what is working well, what is not working so well, and what changes to the process could enable more women to be more satisfied with outcomes.