Calls for Tougher Law for Incest Offenders

By Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo

Pomio MP, Elias Kapavore have asked for a review to the sexual offence laws.

His comments comes after widespread condemnations of incest cases that have tainted the image of East New Britain province over the years.

Mr. Kapavore has also asked for tougher penalties to punish those who commit incest in the province.

At a weeklong juvenile police training in Kokopo last week, Elias Kapavore, the new Pomio MP asked for tougher laws to punish those who commit incest.

“It’s a topic that made headlines in the newspapers…how are we going to address incest in our communities?” Mr. Kapavore said.

Mr Kapavore is one of the few provincial leaders who publicly spoke about the ongoing incest cases in the province.

The issue has begun to attract political attention as to a larger extent; it continues to paint a bad picture on the province.

“If we don’t talk about it, who else will? It is an issue that is affecting our children,” Mr. Kapavore said.

Chief Inspector, John Kolopen, who facilitated the juvenile training last week also shared similar sentiments, as younger woman and girls fall victims to sexual assaults.

“In respect to females, most of them continues to become victims of sexual abuse,” Chief Inspector John Kolopen said.

The Kokopo sexual offense squad revealed that every month, at least 9 new incest cases are reported.

Most of the victims are minors, who are below the ages of 10 years.

But that’s not all, many more go unreported.

In this interview with EMTV last month, the head of the sexual offense squad in Kokopo, Sergeant Joe Bimaru, revealed that many instances of incest are not being reported to police.

“We may think that such thing wont happen to our child, but it is happening…and it is happening right in front of us,” Sergeant Bimaru said.

While the police officers are making sure that each case makes it into the courtroom, they are also taking heed of a much bigger problem that lay ahead.

Most of the cases are solved out of court.

Sexual penetration of a minor carries more than 20 years in jail.

While other provincial leaders have remained largely silent about the issue, the only people who have spoken out are small village based awareness groups that received no direct support from the government.

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