File assault cases: Committee

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SETTLING sexual and gender-based violence cases outside court will no longer be tolerated in Morobe, an official says.
Metropolitan Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr, the Family Sexual Violence Action Committee chairman, said offenders of such violence often escaped penalties by settling matters out of court.
He said the practice must stop.
Wagambie was appointed chairman on Aug 30 during a meeting of stakeholders in Lae in which members reaffirmed their commitment to fight sexual and gender-based violence in the province.
“There have been too many instances where victims and relatives resort to solving these issues out of court,” Wagambie said.
“Cases of child molestation, rape, gender-based violence, incest, and wife and husband bashing are not reported to police and sorted out by village committees through payments of compensation.
“Anyone facilitating this will be arrested for perverting the course of justice.”
Wagambie said police officers would not be exempted.
“Any complaints of gender-based violence or all forms of child abuse against police will not be tolerated,” he said.
“We will conduct awareness in the barracks so that our police community, especially women and children, know their rights.
“Anyone found to be breaching this will be dealt with.”
Wagambie plans to work with government agencies, non-government organisations and churches to see that victims of sexual and gender-based violence were protected and helped.

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