20 Aug 2014

Vanuatu chief wants custom to deal with rape

4:56 pm on 20 August 2014

A top chief on Tanna in Vanuatu says it is better for rape cases to be dealt with through custom than in a court.

Chief Freeman Nariu, who is the Council president of the Nikoletan Council of Chiefs, says the police should not have arrested a man for raping his wife.

Police charged the accused, alleging he had raped his wife and assaulted her with a bush knife.

Chief Nariu says custom practices should have been used as they have worked for generations.

"Any criminal case like this one, it's more better to come back to the chief. Because the chief when they make the decision of the custom. They have to make them to bring back every relationship to make their family and their family happy. To work together again."

Chief Freeman Nariu

Last year, a man was jailed for 10 years in Vanuatu's first conviction for marital rape.