For the third time in a week, the nation’s media are reporting cases of serious crimes against visitors to our country. In every case, the victims were female.
Gender based violence in Vanuatu was described as ‘horrific’ by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells following her recent visit here. This is only the most recent example of a litany of concern that visiting women of influence have expressed.
When are we going to listen?
After Florence Lengkon was assaulted, nearly a thousand women and men, young and old, marched to call for an end to this callous, cruel disregard for the dignity and rights of the most vulnerable people in our society.
The Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for tourism, responded swiftly, stating that he expected arrests to be made. Within a day, it was announced that the people responsible had been brought in for questioning.
Now, we’re told that it may be one of the same men who bashed Florence that beat up a Canadian woman, allegedly over a mere fender bender.
The Police reportedly failed to respond to her assault. The Police failed to arrive when called to the scene of the heinous attack reported in today’s newspaper, telling the victim to proceed directly to hospital. It was the local chiefs who brought the suspect in a brutal assault and rape in rural Santo earlier this month.
The Vanuatu Police Force do many things right. They could do many things better. But this complacence in the face of violence and brutality is symptomatic of an illness that afflicts the entire country.
Why is it okay to bash up, hospitalise and even kill our women? Continue reading