Dear Editor,

It was pleasing to see a more positive response from women’s groups in Vanuatu ( Daily Post Sept 16th). However…. No amount of talking, marching, ribbon wearing etc is going to make the slightest bit of difference in this country until 2 things happen!

1. We start educating our children(especially boys) by both words and actions, that any form of violence against women is unacceptable. That females are human beings exactly the same as males, with every right to lead a safe existence without fearing that anything they do will incite violence against them.

That it is NOT okay for Dad to beat up Mum when he is drunk! That it is NOT okay for Uncle to rape his 10 year old niece and threaten to kill her if she tells! That it is NOT okay for bus and taxi drivers to threaten female passengers in any way.

Then maybe by the time they grow up, they may have a more reasonable view of all females in our community.

2. Our justice system needs to grow some teeth and actually prosecute the men who are responsible for these acts against women.

The law clearly states the penalties for such acts but when was the last time we heard of anyone actually sentenced to anything remotely like the required period! Making a custom reconciliation is not an acceptable form of punishment! Nor is the excuse that it was a first offense reasonable!! It should not have occurred at all!

It is up to all of us! Parents, teachers as well as the police and judicial system to stop talking and really do something practical for a change.

Judi Clelland

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