There has been an increase in domestic violence and sexual abuse cases.

This increase is linked to the current COVID-19 crisis, the Family Protection Unit (FPU) of the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) has conveyed in a statement.

Of around five reports received every week by FPU, one to two are domestic violence and sexual abuse cases, the statement cited.

“The COVID-19 crisis has caused people to lose jobs, increased cases of domestic violence and other family issues.

“Sexual abuses are also on the rise.

“Children are becoming victims to sexual abuse by fathers or caretakers.

“The Police is reminding everyone that anyone caught committing domestic violence and sexual abuse can end up in jail.”

Community leaders as chiefs, elders and pastors are urged to work in partnership with the police and their people to address the issues and prevent them from occurring.