BY Lagi Keresoma
APIA: THURSDAY 03 OCTOBER 2013: A forum today wants to establish a registrar for sex offenders.
Organised by the Law Reform Commission (LRC), most of the forum participants also favoured publication of the names, photos and villages of sex offenders.
Participants were split into six groups of two groups of Faletua and Tausi (village chiefs and orators wives) two groups of Ali’i ma Faipule (village chiefs and orators) one youth group and one group of pastors.
Only the youth group disagreed that offenders and their villages be publicised. Their resolution was that “one man’s guilt” will destroy a family name carried by many relatives of the offender.
They also considered the effect of publicity on the offender.
“Shame will drive a person to suicide,” they said in a resolution.
The participants believe establishing a registrar will not alone reduce sex offences unless further action was taken such as:
· Heavier penalties imposed by courts and village councils.
· Impose life imprisonment for any sex offender.
· Medical help for offenders
Whether adultery was a sex offence or not was discussed but no resolution was adopted about the matter.
Three questions were given out to forum participants by Law Reform Commission for consideration.
1) Is it appropriate to have a registrar of sex offenders? (E alagatatau ona faia se resitala mo solitulafono o faiga aiga?)
2) Will the registration of sex offenders reduce offending? (Fa’amata e fa’aitiitia ai le solitulafono pe a fai le resitala?)
3) What are some of the solutions that can help combat rape which is on the increase? (O a nisi auala e mafai ona fofo ai lea fa’afitauli o le si’isi’i i luga o le faia o solitulafono o faiga aiga malosi?)
The groups also threw in suggestions they say LRC should look into.
Group two of Faletua ma Tausi strongly suggested that doctors who give out Viagra to men should be held accountable because the pills result in sex crimes being committed.
The men countered that women should beautify themselves so their husbands would not stray.
The forum was only for half a day.
The Ali’i ma Faipule group asked LFC to hold another forum and more time allocated to it.