The National, Friday November 8th, 2013
COMPENSATION should not be used as a resolution method by perpetrators of crimes such as rape, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) says.
The Family Voice, a NGO based in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, made the call following news that the family of a five-year-old girl being compensated by her perpetrators who raped her in Port Moresby last week.
“The perpetrators must face the full force of the law for what they have done.
“They should not easily get away but proper investigations must be done by the police and justice must prevail,” director, John Ericho said in a statement yesterday.
“The compensation system has to stop to allow for justice to take place because paying compensation does not weigh out the trauma and psychological disturbances that the perpetrator has caused to the victim, especially minors,” he said.
Ericho expressed concern that many rape victims were very young and described the act as an “animalistic behaviour’’.
“Compensation is referred to as belkol. When that happens, it becomes an economic opportunity and time to strike a peace deal, but what about the victim and the hurt, abuse and degradation that she will carry for the rest of her life?”
According to the NGO’s internal data, the number of child sexual cases reported dropped by 6% from 14% in 2010 to 8% in 2013.
Ericho said it was likely that most cases had been settled at the village courts through compensation.
He called on law enforcers to implement and enforce child protection laws that were in place to protect minors from such abuses.