NATION

OPINION: Stop Abuse Of Women, Children

This is a transciprt of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say programme on FBC Television’s 4 The Record last night.   The abuse of women and children must stop. In the context
17 Aug 2015 11:59
OPINION: Stop Abuse Of Women, Children

This is a transciprt of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say programme on FBC Television’s 4 The Record last night.

 

The abuse of women and children must stop. In the context of today’s standards, what was once part of the norms in our culture is no longer acceptable. It also runs contrary to the teachings in the holy writs of the respective mainstream religions of the world.

The fact that abuse is still occurring in our society is a sad reflection of our failure to change our attitude.

There are different forms of abuse. They include physical or the use of violence to force a victim into submission, psychological, and sexual.

They are all equally serious and must be stamped out. Otherwise they would lead to tragic consequences.

On Friday, Naresh Narayan, was jailed for life for the murder of his wife and two children.

He will serve a maximum of 25 years before he could be considered for pardon by the President.

He was found guilty and convicted for two counts of arson and three counts of murder. He had set fire to their house while his wife and two children were asleep inside.

This case is at the top end of the serious scale. Then we see a constant stream of cases coming to court on violence and sexual offences like rape, incest and indecent assault.

Women and children belong to the vulnerable group and they are usually preyed upon by sexual predators because they are weak.

Men who do it are cowards and perverts. Real man do not hurt women and children.

We must get rid of the culture of silence that inhibits our communities to talk freely and openly about this issue.

In some places people who report alleged cases are frowned upon and even victimised because it is taboo to talk about them.

We are equally culpable or guilty of aiding and abetting if we do not report that an offence has allegedly been committed.

The Police have encouraged the public to report any cases they know of even if they took place sometime ago.

Sometimes in our rationalisation to decide whether to report a case or not, considerations about the reputation of the community, the village, the vanua, the settlement and church or religion take precedence.

In other words, reputation of these stakeholders is more important than the welfare of the victims especially the young and the vulnerable. We must change this mentality.

If you hear or know an offence has been committed report it to the nearest Police station and let the law take its own course. We must not take the law into our own hands.

Imagine the emotional scars the victims carry for the rest of their lives. Some are so traumatised they are not able to live a normal life for the rest of their lives. They suffer from nightmares, aches, pains and other physical challenges that put a lot of pressure and strain on their caregivers.

We must break the cycle of violence and abuse on our young, weak and vulnerable. Churches, families, communities and social groups must remove the shades that prevent them from dealing with this problem.

It’s all our moral obligation to bring this issue out into the open and raise public awareness.

Those who commit crimes must pay the time. If we hide them from the law to protect the name of institutions I have mentioned, we become a party to those crimes and do a great disservice to our communities, our families and most importantly to the victims.

We should adopt the policy of zero tolerance to deter would-be offenders.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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