One of the boys giving mats to the victim as a form of reconciliation. Photo supplied


Several women living in Port Vila have expressed their concerns over recent incidents that occurred in the Bladiniere area.

One such incident involved a female resident who was harassed by young boys while walking on the road. Although the Vanuatu Police Force did not receive a report about the incident, a reconciliation ceremony was held in Bladiniere last Sunday to address it. During the ceremony, a spokesperson warned the boys that they would face serious consequences if they continued to harass women.

However, local women remain frustrated and are calling on young boys to respect women as they would their own family members. One woman who preferred to remain anonymous said blaming the victim is not the solution and that women should not have to feel unsafe when walking alone.

She suggested that authorities should consider the number of jobless and out-of-school individuals during the national census and move them back to their native islands.

Hanna Paul, who lives in Bladiniere, emphasised the need for young unemployed boys to respect women. She reminded them that they were born to a woman and asked them how they would feel if their sister or mother were treated poorly. Paul also called on parents to teach their children the value of respecting others.

Rita Alick, another concerned woman, expressed her disappointment with the current system of reconciliation, which involves a simple exchange of apologies and gifts. She suggested that the police should take stricter measures, such as beating or locking up the young boys, to teach them a lesson.

Women are demanding respect and calling for more effective solutions to address the issue of harassment in their community. Parents and authorities alike have a role to play in teaching young boys the importance of treating women with respect and dignity.