A team from the Correctional Services Facility in Santo has received positive feedback after their recent visit to TORBA Province, where they conducted an awareness campaign on the topic of Sex and Law.

The objective of the campaign was to educate the community about the dangers of sexual assault, as a significant number of offenders who enter the Correctional Service Facility are involved in sexual activities.

The probation officers were pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback they received from the community regarding the law and its consequences. However, the community expressed a strong desire for more awareness to be carried out, as they felt that many of their people were committing crimes due to lack of information.

The community not only requested further awareness on Sex and Law but also urged for awareness on topics such as violence against women, child desk, drugs, and alcohol. They wanted to understand the exact consequences of engaging in such activities.

Chief leaders emphasised the need for frequent awareness campaigns to ensure everyone is well-informed, especially individuals who have not had exposure to other regions of the nation and find it challenging to adjust to modern laws.

During their outreach efforts, the awareness team visited Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial School and informed the pupils about their right to report any teacher or individual engaging in sexual activity with them. They also educated community leaders like chiefs, teachers, and pastors about their right to file and report anyone involved in such crimes, while encouraging young people to stay away from risky behaviors that could lead to trouble.

A local chief raised concerns about male youngsters’ increasing interest in marijuana over females, leading to involvement with adults and resulting in sexual harassment and legal violations. The team used these incidents to warn the community against engaging in such acts.

Swearing in public places has become a sole offence that may lead individuals to Correctional Services, prompting the Correctional Services officers to collaborate closely with the chiefs to decrease such crimes.

The awareness campaign also addressed the reactions of victims upon learning that someone would be prosecuted for an action they were engaged in.

As part of their efforts, the awareness team visited Vanualava’s Area of Vatop, conducting a house induction for one of the offenders who had been released from the Correctional facility and was serving the community portion of his term.

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SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST