Plan International Solomon Islands, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for children’s rights and equality for girls, has condemned the alleged sexual assault of a thirteen-year-old girl in South Guadalcanal last month.
Country Program Manager, Ella Kauhue labelled it a “horrific act”.
Ms Kauhue said it was sickening to learn that girls as young as thirteen could not move freely in many communities without being sexually harassed or assaulted by men and boys they knew.
She urged communities to revisit existing governance structures that protected adolescent girls from abuse and discrimination.
Ms Kauhue also acknowledged the police for responding quickly to the incident and encouraged them to work with community leaders and the victim’s family to ensure that the culprits are prosecuted.
The alleged rape occurred on the weekend with five men now in custody.
The condemnation comes as women across the world – including many living in the Solomon Islands – have been posting the hash tag #metoo on social media to signify that they too have been victims of sexual assault. The social media response comes following a string of sexual assault accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
The campaign has sparked a new conversation over the way women are treated in all societies, particularly by men in positions of power.