In nearly every child rape and murder case, the offenders are people the children know. Many times it’s people they trust.
Every time I talk of rape and murder of children, I am reminded of a case in Kaugere in Port Moresby 15 years ago when the brute raped and killed a grade one student from the Southern Highlands.
His dad cried until he couldn’t cry anymore. He pulled at his hair and dug his fingers into the hard dry ground. Police collected the murder weapon. A large rock bigger than his own head. It was stained with the girl’s blood.
The community retaliated by burning the family home of the rapist. Of course it didn’t change anything, but they did.
In 2015, in East Taraka, Isaac (yes, he had a name too), was killed in the same manner. His small body lay in the thick grass. Those who found him, flattened the bush and waited for police to arrive.
His killer, a neighbor and a person known to his family, had stabbed him in his belly. Isaac’s underwear was pulled over his face. We don’t know, for what reason.
The boy’s killer turned himself into police. He had been high on steam the whole week. The Kaugere killer was also high on marijuana when he killed the girl.
The breakdown of the traditional family structure, the lack of guidance by elders, lack of opportunity, illegal production of home brew and marijuana and access to pornography is a potent recipe for self destruction.
Communities have to take action. We can start by reporting every person who makes and sells home brew. Alcohol and abuse is the biggest contributing factor to serious crime in Papua New Guinea’s urban centers. You can prove it by going through the police occurrence book. I’ve done it myself.
Communities must take action. Police can’t do it alone. In many communities, the people know who the pedophile is. They know who the child rapist and murderer is. Children are raped and fondled and “it’s OK?”
NO! It’s not OK.
Also go educate everyone you can that the sick trend of accepting compensation for the rape of a child is also unacceptable. I’ve heard many arguments from communities around the country that the child didn’t die. So they compensate the parents.
They hide in the community and prey on the weak. We know them but we don’t do anything about it because “it’s somebody’s problem.”
It is sickening that our daughters not yet in their teens are looked at through the filthy lens of an adult’s lustful desires. In their innocence, they know something isn’t not right yet how do they tell us? How do they express that discomfort they feel?
It is disturbing that our boys are turned on by the violence. They are not able to distinguish between consensual sex between adults and the rape of a school mate. How twisted is this society? How will their future be?
Sometimes we joke. “When you have a daughter, buy a gun,” they say. How true is that? Buy a gun for protection or for revenge?
We only act when they touch our own. But we act too late. We act when the child is dead and the parents a grieving. We burn houses for our own selfish satisfaction and revenge.
If we know what they do and where they live, we must isolate them, put them away. They don’t deserve to exist in the same space as your children.