23 Nov 2011

French Polynesia has spike in abuse of women

6:05 pm on 23 November 2011

A French Polynesian sexual abuse trial is being overshadowed by a series of violent deaths of women in Tahiti.

A girl has testified that she had been raped by several people, including her step-father and boys living with the family.

The accused who appeared in court said he had consensual sex although she was only 11 years old.

The trial comes as a suspect has been arrested for the rape and strangulation of an 18-year old woman whose body was found in Mahina.

According to the police, in the past week two women committed suicide after being victims of domestic violence.

The health ministry says a study has shown that one out of four women in French Polynesia has been the victim of violence.