THE MINISTRY of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs strongly condemns the alleged rape incident which resulted in the death of a 12 year-old girl at Temotu Province and calls for collective action to stop violence against children especially young girls.
Police reported a 12 year-old girl was allegedly raped and found dead on Tikopia Island, Temotu Province on 4th October.
The Ministry in a statement today, conveyed deepest sorrow and condolences to the family of the young girl, for losing their loved one through such inhuman act.
The ministry also acknowledges the village chief and community on Tikopia Island, Temotu, for apprehending the perpetrator and handing him over to the police.
“Such cruel and inhuman act of violence is not accepted and will never be tolerated in any society.
Rape is a criminal offence and as stated in the Penal Code holds a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.”
The Ministry noted the increasing child abuse cases in the past months and continues to work closely with other government ministries and non-government organisations, Faith based organisations and development partners through the National Action and Advisory Committee on Children (NAACC) and SAFENET to campaign and advocate to eliminate violence/abuse against children, young girls and women and ensures victims receive the needed support and services. Programs on eliminating violence and creating safe environments for children are also being rolled out in various communities and churches.
The Government is committed through the passage of the 2017 Child and Family Welfare Act and the 2014 Family Protection Act to protect the wellbeing of children and to provide for the protection of families from domestic violence and to promote safety, health and wellbeing of victims of domestic violence and for related purposes.
The Ministry however strongly stressed that eliminating abuse against children and creating a safe environment for them is everyone’s responsibility and requires a collective action.
“From homes, communities, churches, schools, non-government organisations, and government agencies and all levels of stakeholders have the responsibility to protect children from abuse and create a safe environment for children especially young girls.”
The Ministry therefore calls on all caregivers, parents, relatives, community and church leaders, and all individuals to be vigilant and come up with safeguarding measures or strengthen existing positive mechanisms to ensure children are safe at all times.
The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs is committed to uphold, promote, protect and fulfil the rights of women, young people, children and families through effective partnerships, inclusiveness, fairness and creating equal opportunities to advance the wellbeing of the nation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or violence, you can access help by calling Police 999 or 23666 or report it to your nearest police station or contact Seif Ples 24 hour Hotline 132.