Breaking the cycle of sexual and family violence by courageously speaking out

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DEAR EDITOR, police in the Western Province recently reported arresting a man for allegedly having had sexual intercourse with a young girl of 6 years of age.

The report has shocked the nation, but sadly, it is just one more case coming to light of the prevailing incidences of sexual violence against women and young girls.

In the particular case of the tragic incident allegedly involving the 6 year old child, there appears from local reports, that a witness had the courage to report the allegations to the police and this led to the man’s arrest.

A young women reporting sexual violence shows strong courage in speaking out and it is hoped those that do will have the assistance and protection from a determined advisor, such as the Family Support Centre provides.

The RSIPF I believe is not insensitive in dealing with reports of sexual and family violence and the SI legal system is similarly not insensitive to dealing with such cases when brought before the court.

The SIG has taken measures to improve protection for women and girl’s victims of sexual violence but the need to speak up is crucial to bringing to light the kind of cases that has just been exposed in the Western Province.

It is my hope that more victims will get the support and protection they still need to have the courage and determination to report sexual violence in all its forms.

I know Women’s organizations in the Solomon Islands, including the Family Support Centre, are increasingly concerned about the horrible stories of sexual violence and family violence that continually come to light and I hope, too that they will continue to support victims and strive to encourage victims to speak out, given that support measures are in hand for them.

Yours sincerely

FRANK SHORT

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