Chuuk Women’s Council officially launches FSM’s first Violence Against Women Counselling Center
- Category: News
- Published: Thursday, 23 April 2020 22:26
- Written by Bill Jaynes
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March 9, 2020
Chuuk State, FSM- Chuuk State First Lady, The Honorable Lady Bersita Elimo officially launched the Chuuk Women’s Council “Tongen Inepwinew Counseling Center,” which translated means “Love of the Family Counseling Center”.
The Tongen Inepwinew Counseling Center is the first crisis support center for survivors of violence against women in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The Center provides free, confidential and non-judgmental counseling through trained “safe counselors” who provide counseling and support to survivors of domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and child sexual abuse.
To develop its crisis counseling project, Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC) has received funding and extensive on-going technical support from the Australian Government through Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women).
In his opening remarks, the Hon. Lt. Governor Mark Mailo said it is unfortunate that FSM has high rates of violence against women where it is estimated that one out of every three women in FSM have experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner. “Chuuk State has the highest rate of violence against women compared to the other FSM States. This plague of violence in families is against our culture and our human rights values”.
The Chuuk Women’s Council project has taken ten years to complete and includes the renovation of the Center’s building to meet the required standards for a counseling service facility along with ongoing professional development and training of its counselors’ ready for full service.
Christina Stinnett (better known as “Kiki”) is the President of the Chuuk Women’s Council, which is an umbrella organization of more than 60 women’s organizations in Chuuk State and more than 1000 women members.
In her remarks, Ms. Kiki Stinnett said, “I believe that all women should live a life free from all forms of violence and discrimination. But it is essential that all women in Chuuk are made aware that there is a service available for survivors of violence against women. During CWC monthly Market Day on Feb. 28, 2020, the Tongen Inepwinew Counseling Team did community awareness to inform and educate the public about the new counseling center and the service they are providing. In an interview with a woman participant at the Market Day said and I quote, “Why now? You should have provided this service long time ago. It is good that we have this in Chuuk now as we are in-need of this center.” I agree with this woman, if we don’t do it now, then when and who will do it?” The Tongen Inepwinew Counseling Center envisions a Chuuk State that is free from all forms of violence and discrimination against women. All its activities are survivor or women centered which means we do not blame the women for the domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment that she has experienced or is experiencing. It is never the woman’s fault. The perpetrator is responsible for his violent behavior! The more we give excuses for his violent behavior, the more we are allowing the perpetrator to continue with his criminal act”.
“With a 10-year commitment, Pacific Women enables support to diverse women’s and civil society organizations and other partners to strengthen their own capacities to assist communities and empower women. Providing technical, convening and knowledge sharing support to the portfolio of initiatives and partners is Pacific Women’s Support Unit, working alongside partners to improve the political, economical and social opportunities of Pacific women and to end violence against women and girls. It is this support that is proving invaluable to partners such as the Chuuk Women’s Council. To have a dream to open a counseling service is one thing, but to be able to access international and local expertise to make that happen, in addition to funding resources, is what makes the Australian Government’s Pacific Women program support so unique” - Ms. Dionisia Bernard Asher, Senior Program Manager, Australian Embassy, FSM
“I would like to acknowledge the kindness of the Japan Government through their Japan Embassy in Pohnpei, FSM for their generosity by funding this beautiful Shinobu M.Poll Memorial Center. Our sincere "Kinisou Chapur", and thank you, to the Australian Government and its Pacific Women team who have tirelessly supported us to make this dream a reality in funding the Federated States of Micronesia’s first Counseling Center for survivors of violence against women here in Chuuk State”, Ms. Kiki Stinnett, President Chuuk Women’s Council.
For more information please contact the President of the Chuuk Women’s Council,
Christina “Kiki” Stinnett, Phone Number: (691) 330- 5263/ 8397/ 4232