Minister calls for corporal punishment for rape
The Minister of Police, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt says the Government should consider corporal punishment for convicted rapists.
“This will serve as deterrence and surely will address the increase of sexual cases against children and women,” the Minister said.
“I observe with disgusts the increasing number of sex cases where children are sexually violated.
He said sex cases are becoming all too normal which calls for a different perspective on how to eliminate “sickening crimes”.
“It is heartbreaking to see children being violated by their own relatives and we have also seen church ministers involved in sex cases, this has to be addressed now,” he said.
The Minister acknowledges this will infringe on the rights of perpetrators, but that the rights of victims should be considered paramount.
Caning is still recognised as a form of punishment in Singapore and Samoa should follow suit, Tialavea argued.
“And judicial caning is a form of corporal punishment there and it’s meted out to offenders and it applies to more than 30 offences, but it is compulsory for a dozen of crimes such as attempted murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and vandalism,” the Minister said.
“But I strongly feel that in our case, it should just target the rapists and repeat offenders of [crimes of burglary].”
(Caning is also used as punishment for certain crimes in Malaysia and certain parts of Indonesia).
He suggested that caning should be employed in addition to imprisonment, and that punishment always be complemented with counselling and follow-up guidance.
The Minister referenced Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren’s comments regarding rape.
“The charge of rape carries the highest penalty available under the criminal law and that is imprisonment for life and we have seen the prevalence of this offending has become apparent and our children are at risk,” she said.
“Deterrence is of the highest importance, followed closely by the need to hold the accused accountable for the harm done to the victim.”
She said rape was one of the most serious crimes as stated in the legislative provisions of most societies and was always regarded as such at common law.