A New Zealand anti-violence agency says it fully supports the Vanuatu Police for going against custom law and taking a prosecution against a man who allegedly raped his wife.
That follows criticism of the police from a Tanna chief who says the arrest is an abuse of custom law and the chiefs should deal with the matter.
But the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme's manager, Cam Ronald, says the Vanuatu police are standing up for women's rights.
"There were beliefs held, usually by men, that these were family matters that should not see the light of day. Well, times have changed and the Vanuatu Government has recognised that and the courts now have indicated that if a charge comes before them, they will hear the facts and will decide how it should be dealt with."
Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme manager, Cam Ronald.
The agency is a New Zealand police overseas assistance programme funded by the New Zealand Government.