2 incidents in one day this week, increasing reports have police worried
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
TWO incidents of child rape in one day this week has sent shock waves across communities, as reports say that child rape is on the rise in Solomon Islands.
The first incident on Monday (August 13) at Nusabaruku (Gizo) involved a four-year-old female victim and a 15-year-old male accused, and the other incident involved a five-year-old female victim sexually assaulted by an unknown male at Ranadi around the Goodwood Building area.
According to Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Acting Commissioner Juanita Matanga, during their weekly Police Media Conference on Thursday, police are concerned with the ongoing increase in sexual offences on children, especially below 10 years of age.
“We are very concerned given the fact that we are a country made up of many cultures involving respect and caring.
“When we receive these types of reports involving very young children, it is a huge concern for us.
“It makes us start asking question on what is going on in our society. What is wrong? Those victims will have a haunted behaviour that will affect them for their rest of their lives.
“For those of us who have mothers, aunties, sisters and nieces, it is our responsibility to ensure that these kids are safe and secure. All of us parents, guardians, relatives and wantoks, it is our duty too.
“Give them the environment to grow up safe. This can only work if all Solomon Islanders take this responsibility,” said the RSIPF Acting Commissioner.
She poses the question that if Solomon Islands continue to accept this sort of behaviour then ‘what sort of future are we heading into?’
“If this sort of behaviour continues then it will divide the wantok system in our society. People facing such situations will start drawing lines to not accept the wantok system in their homes.
“This is where I want to remind that we must be responsible in looking after our children. Those who have children at homes, look after them well and encourage them to not be involved in such bad activities.
“I would like to encourage us to be proud of our cultures and make sure that we maintain their values that will help make us become good citizens in our society.”
According to RSIPF’s Acting Commissioner, the accused at Gizo was arrested that same evening and charged with rape the next day and is being remanded at CSSI in Gizo.
The suspect at the Ranandi incident however is yet to be arrested being still at large.
RSIPF’s Acting Commissioner is asking the people around Ranandi area for anyone in particular knowing information to pass on to their investigators at Naha Police Station or any nearby police station that can work with the Naha RSIPF Officers to assist them in their investigation.
Rape cases nowadays received according to RSIPF involves three to four years depending on the type of case that can even lead into lifetime imprisonment.