Op-Ed: Ringing in the New Year — a birdseye view of sex crimes in American Samoa

Sexual violence on children, domestic abuse and hangings are competing with the clamoring bells ringing in the New Year. Having seen the steady increase of these crimes in 2012, it is quite predictable and unfortunate 2013 will see much more.

We started off the New Year with the most bizarre and perverted cases being reported just two weeks into January.

From a spouse assaulting his wife for reporting his fetish of sniffing an aunty’s underwear to dating violence, and a hanging.

Taking the lead are incestuous sexual crimes. For example, fathers were reported committing sexual crimes against their daughters ranging from the ages of 11-14. At the top of the list is the father who admitted exposing his 11 y/o daughter to pornographic movie videos then demonstrating it on each other. Other fathers, reported to have raped their 12 y/o’s now are asking for mental health evaluations. There are two uncles raping their nieces, fathers fondling their sleeping daughters, brothers having sex with sisters.

What sears the mind is many of these children have been exposed to all forms of rape from anal to oral sex and terrorized into submission. Those who have been exposed to pornographic movies to heighten the fathers sexual drive are beyond vile. Group rapes under the guise of a child being “promiscuous” is increasing without remorse, shame, conscience or regret. We cannot deny the fact that everything done to our children has been left up to the imagination. Who would have ever thought that a child would be raped on the seas between Upolu and Pago by a sailor employed on the Lady Naomi who indicated it was his practice?

With the increase of sexual crimes against children, their cries to be rescued are being drowned out by the last administration’s lawmakers attitudes. There was no interest or desire in hearing, reviewing, modifying or amending the laws on punishment for these crimes.

There is no separation of punishment for raping children from the adult victims. Neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate accepted the implementation or a hearing on the Sex Offenders Register Notification Act (SORNA).

Currently, serving 1/3 of a sentence qualifies a sex offender for parole. Free eight hours a day on work release is the biggest scam under the justice system as reported. There is still no Child Abuse law.

How much longer do we the people have to suffer before our Faipule and Senators make this a priority? How much longer do we have to be exploited and tolerate these forms of perversion?

Make no mistake, there is a dramatic increase of sexual crimes against our children. There are more of them, than all the blue collar crimes put together. More so the unreported that are suffering in silence, fear and shame.

The blue-collar criminals that the Fono/SIC/special committees keep tracking down are not going anywhere. Our victimized children are going through the most brutal torture of all… what are WE, the adults, law enforcers, legislators, Justice system, Church leaders and non-government organizations doing about it to rescue them?

I, as an advocate against family violence cannot help but to think, unless ‘The authorities of our nation and churches unite to combat this situation, they are just leading us into the depths of depravation’.

Have a  HAPPY NEW YEAR thinking about it…


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