A Son Samoa (Voices of Women and Gender Minorities)

Article originally published in Fightback magazine’s special issue dedicated to paid radical writing by women and minorities.

By Falenaoti Mokalagi.

Content Warning: sexual assault.

Yesterday a son of Samoa was jailed

25 years after the fact

I sat next to your daughter Samoa

Birthed in Aotearoa

I READ OUT ALOUD  the impact of this son

UP ON  your daughter Samoa

UP ON her mother

UP ON her siblings

UP ON her lineage

UP ON her genealogy

I heard at the age of 5 Samoa she lay on top of her mother to protect her from the heavy steel coffee table being rained on her by your son.

The memory recounted vividly as if it were only yesterday

She was 5, her sibling 2 when they took responsibility for the safety of their mother from your son Samoa, their father.

They were  all 3 hospitalised

Their records read that there had been an accident in their home and the 2 year olds injuries were sustained as a consequence of the toddler falling head first into the fireplace.

It was read in Court Samoa that by the age of 11 she knew what oral sex felt like what digital penetration, and lubrication were.

I READ OUT ALOUD  she felt disgusting

I READ OUT ALOUD  she felt she was a whore

I READ OUT ALOUD  she wanted to kill herself every day

Her constant pre-occupation

I READ ALOUD she survived

BY taking drugs

BY drinking alcohol

BY seeing endless counsellors

SHE leaves town

SHE has un-lasting relationships

SHE does not trust any Samoan man Samoa

I READ ALOUD he gave her gifts, and money

Received in silence and guilt

An exchange for her silence

He told her Samoa that no one would believe her

I READ OUT ALOUD she just lay there.

Yesterday a son of Samoa was jailed

He walked into the Court room as if he had done no wrong

I heard he continued to deny what his hands had shaped

I heard he continued to deny even after being found guilty by a jury of his peers

The judge said out aloud there is no other suitable penalty but jail

He leaves the dock assisted

He is visibly stunned Samoa

I HEARD ALOUD that after 25 years he had changed his ways

I HEARD after 25 years he read his Bible every day

I HEARD after 25 years he should be allowed to stay at home

Under detention

THE JUDGE SAID ALOUD there is no other suitable penalty, but jail.

THE FOG LIFTS from the head of your daughter Samoa, who is born is Aotearoa.

SHE is heard,

SHE is seen,

SHE is believed and some responsibility for her is taken

SHE frees her mother, her siblings

And the process of restoration of the spaces that were trampled

The spaces defiled

Starts

I CELEBRATE her courage Samoa

HER generosity

And her wholeness Samoa

Your daughter Samoa

Born in Aotearoa

Ma lou faaaloalo lava

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