By Lisa Williams-Lahari - firstname.lastname@example.org
A New Zealand pathologist is in the Cook Islands this week to assist police investigations into the death of a nine-year-old child.
A 46-year-old male relative of the child whose death in Aitutaki was referred to Police, was charged with manslaughter last Thursday and has been remanded in custody on Rarotonga pending outcomes of the Police investigation, including the pathologist report.
The death and charges have sparked social media conversations over the silence surrounding family violence.
Meanwhile, Cook Islands community leaders gathered in Auckland over the weekend to discuss family violence with other ethnic groups and government ministers at the first ever Safer Ethnic Communities Ministerial Forum.
The forum was opened by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and looked at creating safer communities, small business crime prevention and domestic violence.
Parliamentary undersecretary Michael Wood says while there tends to be silence around the issue in some communities, people should be encouraged to speak up for kids.
"If you really think something bad could be happening, please do speak to the police because the outcome of something really going wrong is violence in the household. Watch out and speak up if you feel that something is going on."