1 Mar 2010

NGO in Samoa supports public discussion over punishment for sex offenders

11:51 am on 1 March 2010

A call by an MP in Samoa for sex offenders to be given two to three lashes in addition to each month of their jail sentence has been welcomed by an NGO which works with victims of sexual abuse.

Muagututagata Peter Ah Him, who is also the Associate Minister for Communication and Technology, says he would like the public to support such a change of the law.

His comment comes after an incest victim went public revealing how she was sexually attacked by her father.

The spokesperson for the NGO, Samoa Victim Support Group, Viliamu Paese says sex crimes are such a sensitive topic in Samoa.

But he says bringing it out in the open will mean it won't be swept under the carpet and he welcomes the call by the MP.

"It's good for us to know that some member of parliament supporting what we do in the fight against rape. It's time to talk about this kind of offences because if we still not talk about it the crime is still arising."

Viliamu Paese says his organisation will this month launch its "No Rape" campaign which it also plans to get to rural areas.