THE Family Support Centre says it strongly condemns the rape of women and young girls in the community.
In a statement, the centre said recently there are a lot of rape cases that occurred in the communities, which is very shocking.
“It is sad to read and hear those women and girls are being raped by somebody they trust and disrespectful men and boys in the community,” the statement said.
“An example was the alleged raped of a 7- year-old girl at North West Choiseul in Choiseul Province last month,” it added.
“Raping of women and girls is a grave and systematic Human Rights violation and Gender based violence.
“It has serious consequences for the victim and has grave damage to the victim which will impact their lives as long as they live.
“Rape should not be tolerated, justified and it must be stopped in the community.
“It is a serious crime and the law agencies should not show mercy but punish the perpetrators with the full force of the law and award the strongest penalty to the perpetrators to avoid similar cases occurring in the future.”
“The statement said women and girls are very important in any family circle and the community.
They also contributed towards the development of their community. They should have been respected, valued and protected by men and boys in the community.”
The statement said currently there is an alarming rate of rape in our society which we often read and hear that rape always occurred in the communities.
“In most cases most of the victim of rape are women and girls. This is quite obviously seen as a major problem in our society today.
“There is a need to address rape in the community so that women and girls and men and boys be equally valued in the community and can exercise equal rights.
“Despite our country making significant development to end violence against women and girls through the government policies and the passing of the Family Protection Act, advocacy programs made by International Organizations, Civil societies and the Honiara Referral (SAFENET) to address and protect victims and survivors of gender-based violence, there is still cases of rape appeared in the news almost every week and month which shocks many families, women and girls today.
“Rape is a violation of a human being and a heinous act performed by someone who wishes to exact complete power and control over another person.
“Either gender can be the perpetrator or the victim of rape. In most cases women and girls are the victims.
“Women and girls are raped by men they know as well as men they never met before.
“Most rapists are close family members, those of trust, neighbours, and friends of the victim or someone who lives very close to the victims.
“The effects of rape can include both the initial physical trauma as well as deep psychological trauma.
“The most common and lasting effects of rape involves mental health disorders which diminished social confidence.
“Also, the effects can completely disrupt the victim’s life and must go through a healing process to put her life back together.”
In a study about 85% – 90% of raped of adult and children is not reported to police and authorities.
Only 10% of all rape cases are reported.
Many women and girls don’t or can’t easily report their rape because they often suffer from humiliation and suffering when questioning by responsible authorities, feel ashamed and cannot cope with anyone knowing what has happened to them or they might be threaten by the perpetrator if they attempt to report.
“There are people in the communities who knew about someone who has survived rape and there are individual women and girls who are still survivors of rape, and hardly reported such case to the rightful authorities.
“Therefore, the Family Support Centre would like to encourage every victim of rape to step forward and report to any nearby police stations or any service provider on any sexual abuse case they experience in their lives to help stop this criminal activity (rape).
“Family Support Centre wish to urge the community and the existing groups (churches, youth, women, chiefs etc.) to start to talk about rape in the community, by informing the communities that rape is a heinous crime and once committed and once found guilty perpetrators can be imprisoned.
“Also, to work together with Non-Governmental organizations and civil society that have effective programs to curb Gender Based Violence in the community especially to educate the communities to help to change attitudes, help the victims and work to address and protect victims of rape.
“Family Support Centre wants to appeal to everyone who need urgent assistance and free confidential Counselling to walk into its office at the Tandai High Way, or call 20619 or 132 (SAFENET free toll line) for face – to – face counselling assistance.”