Keep child abusers locked up

National

By DOROTHY MARK
RELEASING suspects involved in the sexual abuse of children is not helping children to get justice, a senior police officer in Madang says.
The officer, who refused to be named, said he saw police officers releasing suspects who had allegedly raped, sexually abused or indecently touched children because victims’ parents agreed on out-of-court settlements.
The officer said out-of-court settlements were not helping children at all.
President of the Madang Provincial Council of Women Mary Kamang said police should not just release suspects because it was not parents who were affected.
“It’s the children that are affected and in almost all situations they cannot speak up for themselves,” Kamang said.
“It’s the parents who will speak but it doesn’t mean police should listen to them.
“These children will be affected in the long run, they are different individuals and it is their bodies we are talking about, they must get justice for what happens to them.”
Kamang said most families needed support in terms of money and security from the communities they lived in or family members to help them get justice.
She said many gave up and resorted to short cuts for out-of-court settlements because they lacked in those areas.
The police officer said suspects involved were using police officers they knew well to negotiate with victims’ relatives to have the matters settled out of court.
He said such actions would not help the suspects but would only give them the change to repeat the crimes.
Serving jail terms would teach the suspects and help them not to repeat the crime in the future, the policeman said.
Meanwhile, according to statistics from the family and sexual violence office operated by the provincial council of women, almost five out of every 10 cases of child sexual abuse in Madang go unreported or are solved out of court.
The provincial council of women says only about two cases out of five are reported to police.

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