As a concerned ni-Vanuatu citizen and resident of Port Vila, a woman and a mother, I wish to raise my concern on the appalling number of sexual assaults suffered by women and girls in Vanuatu.
Currently, women and girls don’t feel safe when walking around, especially in secluded areas or at night. When they have to take the risk of travelling around by themselves, they have to remind themselves of what type of clothes to wear, what to bring with them for self-defense and who to speak to even if they appeared to be someone of their acquaintance.
As a means of preventing sexual assaults in our communities, we must all make it a priority to begin by teaching the best values of respect and love towards women and girls in our families. Furthermore, greater sanctions should be imposed on perpetrators of sexual assaults by the courts so as to deter such likeminded persons from doing similar act on women and girls.
I am therefore calling on women leaders in all sectors involving women, girls and NGOs to voice our concerns and rights to the government so that appropriate policies can be created to give greater effect on our International Human Rights as are being enforced by the police and the courts in our country.