THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) will conduct awareness programs in communities in and around Honiara and in the provinces to bring to the forefront the increasing violence against women and girls as part of the international 16 Days of Activism from 25 November to 10 December 2018.
The theme for this year is: “Herem Vois Blong Mi – Stop Violence Against Women and Girls”.
“The issue of violence against women and girls is an issue that we cannot be silent about. It is happening every day in our communities. Just this week RSIPF investigators arrested two suspects for allegations of rape against young girls. In the recent past police arrested even family members of young girls for allegations of rape. The lives of our young girls are being destroyed right inside their own homes – a place that should be the safest haven for them has become a crime scene. We cannot allow this to continue,” says Supervising Commissioner of Police, Juanita Matanga.
Supervising Commissioner Matanga adds: “The voice of our women and girls must be heard. All they want is for them to move around our communities freely and live a safe life within their own homes without having to face sexual abuse by men within their communities or even in the same house. Enough is enough.”
“To men in our communities, these women and girls who face sexual abuse are members of your own families or a relative. They look to you for protection and security. Please protect them and not abuse them,” says Supervising Commissioner Matanga.
Ms Matanga emphasises: “I want to encourage our menfolk to come out in great numbers and listen to the community awareness programs that the RSIPF will be holding in the various communities in and around Honiara as well as in the provinces and learn about how you should be able to protect women and girls in our communities.”
“At the same time, women and girls in our communities should also attend these community awareness programs to learn more about your rights and the laws that protect these rights. Also learn about what services are available to you should you fall victim to sexual abuse.”
RSIPF and other stakeholders will kick off the 16 Days of Activism in Honiara at 2pm on Sunday 25 November with a church service at the All Saints Church in Point Cruz. During the service participants will light candles to remember those that have passed away and have suffered gender based violence.
On Monday 26 November there will be an official parade from Henderson to White River stopping at various locations along the route to raise awareness on gender based violence.
The office of the RSIPF National Community Policing Department at the Honiara City Central Police Station will also be open to the public to allow people to view facilities there for victims of gender based violence and speak with officers there about the issue.
Officers of the National Community Policing Department together with other stakeholders will be conducting awareness meetings on the Family Protection Act, Family Violence, Sexual Assault and Gender Based Violence at various locations in and around Honiara during the two weeks program