11 Oct 2002

Women's groups in Cook Islands push for tougher sentences

4:43 pm on 11 October 2002

The recent murder of a young mother on Rarotonga in Cook islands has renewed calls by women's groups for tougher sentencing for violent crimes.

31 year old Tuakana Tereau Teama was bludgeoned to death while asleep in her home.

Police have yet to make an arrest.

Punanga Tauturu Women's Counselling Centre says much of the Cook Islands Crimes Act is outdated and greater emphasis is placed on the protection of property rather than human life.

They also believe the local judiciary and community need to change attitudes towards violent crimes.

People who beat women are nearly always let off by Justices of the Peace with a warning that next time they can expect imprisonment.

President of Punanga Tauturu, Niki Rattle says the next time anticipated by JPs may be too late for victims.