Samoa's new Minister for Women's Affairs has urged the whole country through the authority of village councils to help eradicate all forms of sexual abuse.
Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia reports from Apia that the minister's call came during an address to mark Mothers Day.
"Afioga Fiame Naomi Mata'afa in her address to the nation said sexual abuse against under aged girls is increasing. She even urged the powers of village councils to help eradicate any forms of abuses against them. Latest figures show a growing number of offenders convicted of rape, carnal-knowledge, and indecent assaults involving girls between twelve and sixteen years of age. Just last week a 32-year old man from Falealupo village in Savaii was convicted and sentenced to 16 months in jail for indecently assaulting a 13 year old girl. Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, who is the first first woman MP to have been elected to Cabinet. She is the daughter of Samoa's first Prime Minister when the country became independent in 1962."