Tough new penalties for sex crimes in Samoa have been welcomed by the Samoa Victim Support Group.
The Samoa Observer reports that under the new Crimes Act, a life sentence can be given for sex crimes other than rape.
The President of the Samoa Victim Support Group, Lina Chang, has embraced the new law, saying it is a way forward and that the cries of victims are being heard and recognised.
Mrs Chang also says the organisation will soon open a lifeline to ensure help is available for victims, and will conduct seminars to raise awareness.
She says many sexual crimes happen within homes and villages and it is vital people are aware of the consequences of such abuse.