The ugly truth that cuts so deeply

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 24 October 2017, 12:00AM

Yeah we know. The story on the front page of the newspaper you are reading today is disturbing. 

It is disgraceful and in the words of Justice Vui Clarence Nelson, this is a “horrendous tragic tale of sexual abuse of a young girl where the defendant seems to treat her as his play thing.”

The idea that a father would treat his daughter with such contempt is not only sending shivers down the spine, it is mind blowing to think that this could happen in Samoa where culture and our religious beliefs should not allow anything remotely as such to happen.

But then this is the reality of Samoa today, isn’t it?

Yes it’s another case of incest and rape. Disgraceful. We get it. 

Why do we bother telling the world, some people might say.

The answer is simple. 

We are here to tell the truth. And this is how the truth looks in Samoa. It’s ugly and it hurts.

Besides, Justice Vui provides a timely reminder in his ruling.

Said he:  “It is often said that ‘in order for evil to flourish it is only sufficient that good men do nothing.’ This is a classic case of this kind of behavior being permitted to continue while the family stood by silently.”

Who are the good men? 

You and me. Yes all of us who are willing to make a stance and say enough is enough. We cannot allow this to continue as if it is normal. Wake up Samoa, this is not normal. A daughter is supposed to find refuge and care in her father’s arms. She should not become a sex toy or something he can play with whenever he comes home drunk. What repulsive behaviour! Why this family remained silent when this poor child was subjected to such inhumane treatment we might never know. 

But we don’t have to be silent. We can continue to speak up, denounce and beat the drum that this is wrong. 

We accept that the Court has good reasons to suppress the identity of the defendant. But we wish we could show you what this man looks like. He’s the sort of father who deserves a good whipping up and down Beach Road until somebody can knock some senses into his empty head. 

But he is only a small part of a growing sickening problem. In Samoa today, we have got a real problem on our hands when it comes to rape, incest and sexual offending.

When we look at all these cases, you really have to ask the question, what has become of morality in Samoa today? 

How did we get to where we are now?

In times like this, we need to look at the pillars of our community and find out where we have gone wrong. 

For instance, where is the church? What is it doing to stop such repulsive incidents involving immorality of the worst form and violation of basic human rights for these girls?

Let us be reminded once more today that Samoa has just become an official Christian state. 

The decision is not necessarily a bad thing and when the actions of this country follow our declaration, it can be a most wonderful development.

But let’s stop kidding ourselves.

Samoa today is a mess. And enshrining Christianity in our Constitution does not automatically cure this sickness.

We need to walk the talk, reflect Jesus Christ in our actions. That’s what Christianity is about.  Mind you, the church is not the only pillar of this community. 

Does our Samoan culture have a role? Where are our cultural values and principles? Do they have a part to play in stopping the rot we are seeing?

What about the village leaderships? Where are the Alii ma Faipule?  Do they have a part to play? And what is that part?

What about the mothers? The fathers? The children?

What is our government doing about this? Does it care at all? 

Tell us what you think!

Have a safe Wednesday Samoa. And please look after our girls and daughters, they deserve protection and love! God bless!

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 24 October 2017, 12:00AM

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