21 Nov 2013

Pacific women calling for apology over rape comments

4:17 pm on 21 November 2013

An author and Pacific women's advocate says the Samoan National Council of Churches' chairman should apologise for the comments he made about rape.

The chairman, Deacon Kasiano Le'aupepe, has urged women to bite men who sexually assault them as failing to do so could be interpreted as girls enjoying or agreeing to the attack.

Lani Wendt Young says her response to his comments, which was published in the Samoa Observer newspaper, has ignited a healthy debate on the issue of rape culture.

Ms Wendt Young says it is almost a good thing these comments were made, as there is a mindset around rape that needs to be addressed.

But she says Deacon Kasiano needs to front up to the public outcry.

"I would love to see him make an apology or rethink and revisit some of the things that he said. Because I think for all the women, particularly those who have lived through abuse and rape, it is personally offensive and damaging to hear these things coming from someone in a position like his - a position of leadership and of great influence."

An author and Pacific women's advocate, Lani Wendt Young.