by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo
The Kokopo Sexual Offence office has recorded an increase in sexual related crimes over the last 3 years in East New Britain province.
Since 2012, the Kokopo Sexual Offence Squad Unit attends to about 9 sexual penetration cases every month.
Almost all of them are committed by an adult on a child below the age of 10.
Sergeant Joe Bimaru, the officer in charge of the Sexual Offense Squad said, most of the cases attended to involve children, as young as 4 years old.
“As far as records speaks, we have come across sexual penetration of minors…the youngster case that we have attended to is of a 4 years old girl”, Sergent Bimaru said.
Every week the sexual offenses squad attends to similar cases, most of them involving children below the ages of 16 years.
Maximum penalty for any sexual violence involving minor is more than 25 years in jail.
And much of this crime is being committed by people in authority of trust within the family.
” Most of the victims are sexually assaulted by members of their own families. They are their care, but they turn around and abuse them”, Sergeant Bimaru said.
Since taking office in 2012, he said the number of reported cases haven’t changed much, but the office is already beginning to face a new challenge.
Sargent Bimaru and his team believes, most of the cases might be solved out of court, or were never reported at all because of threat issued by the perpetrator to the victim.
Solving sexual related offences out of court through compensation payments means allowing the offender to go free without being charged.
And the chances for the perpetrator to recommit the same offense, is very high.
“People have been solving these serious crimes out of court, and that is wrong. They should bring these issues to the police”, Bimaru said.
The Kokopo sexual offense squad is depending largely on those cases that are reported to them so that it can be pursued in court.
But according to the police, there are many victims, who haven’t spoken out yet.