3 Sep 2008

Samoa Victim Support Group under scrutiny over handling of complaints

9:19 pm on 3 September 2008

The Samoa Victim Support Group has denied that it's forcing victims of alleged sexual offences to take complaints to police so that criminal charges can be filed.

The Group is facing criticism from some family members of both victims and defendants in alleged sexual abuse and rape cases that it's overstepping its role by acting as law enforcers.

They say the organisation should refrain from pushing personal agendas over people involved in cases, and concentrate on protecting victims, leaving criminal cases involving sexual offences to the police.

The criticism was raised after a police officer was recently dismissed over allegations of sexually harassing a young woman as well as two separate attempted rape cases involving church ministers.

A spokesman for Victim Support, Masoe Tautua says the organisation asked police to consider investigating the said cases because the victims approached them for assistance in having the alleged offenders apprehended.

This was after the incidents were reported to the police but no

action was taken.