Tonga - Carnal Knowledge - Age of Consent

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Catholic Women’s League of Tonga

Legal Literacy For Women - Know Your Rights



Sexual Assault



What are Sexual Offences?
What is Rape?
What should I do if I have been raped?
What is indecent assault?
What should I do if I have been indecently assaulted?
What is carnal knowledge of a girl under 12 years old?
What should you do if it happens?
What is Incest?




What are Sexual Offences?

Sexual Offences are sexual acts that are prohibited (not allowed) by the law. They are serious crimes for which a man can be
punished by being sent to prison. In Tonga the sexual offences are:

Rape and attempted rape
Indecent Assault
Unlawful Carnal Knowledge of a girl aged under 12 or attempting to have Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Incest
Sodomy
Bestiality

What is Rape?

Rape is:

* when a man forces a woman to have sexual intercourse (where the penis enters the vagina) with him when she doesn't want
to.

* when a man has sex with a woman who is not totally aware of what is happening (because she is asleep, drunk, or drugged).

* when a man has sex with a woman who is afraid because she has been threatened with death or with serious injury.

* when a man has sex with a woman who is incapable of giving consent (agreeing to have sex) because she is insane, feeble
minded, an imbecile or an idiot (mentally retarded)

* when a man carries on having sex with a woman when she wants it to stop. She may have been willing in the beginning but
when she doesn't want it to continue, the man must stop.

For the crime of rape a man may be punished with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

For attempted rape, trying to do any of the things listed above, a man can be punished with a sentence of up to 10 years in
prison.



What should I do if I have been raped?

Get to a safe place immediately.
Find a supportive person, a friend, a relative or a neighbour and tell them about it.
Don't wash yourself or change your clothes until you see a doctor.
See a doctor as soon as you can - within 3 days of the rape. By seeing the doctor, you can prevent possible pregnancy
and get treated for any injuries or infections which resulted from the rape. You should also get a full medical report, this
will be important later as evidence to prove what has happened in court.
Don't take any medication or alcohol after he attack if you are going to report it to the Police.
If you are reporting it to the police do this as soon as possible and make sure that you give them a written statement
Make sure you have on-going support. Contact close friends and family you can trust as well as your local church group.



What is indecent assault?



Indecent assault is:

* when a man does something of a sexual nature to a woman without her consent.

* when a man touches or tries to touch the private parts of a woman without her consent. This applies even to the cases where
a hand comes near to the private parts of the woman, even on the outside of her clothing.

* When a man performs such acts to a woman who is feeble-minded or a girl who is under 16 years of age whether she agreed to it or not.

For indecently assaulting someone a man can be sentenced with up to 2 years in prison. If the victim is under 12 years old then
a man can be sentencd with up to 5 years in prison.



What should I do if I have been indecently assaulted?



Tell someone as soon as possible and if possible report it to the police as soon as you can.
Make sure you do not change your clothes and get a medical report as soon as possible for any physical injuries that you
may have.
Get the police to take a written statement from you and photographs of any bruises or physical injuries that you may
have. This will be useful in court later on in helping to prove your case.
Get support from your family, friends and work-mates and share your problems with them.



What is carnal knowledge of a girl under 12 years old?

It is not allowed by law for any man to have sex with a girl who is under the age of 12 years old. This is because a child under
the age of 12 is too young to be able to give their consent to having sex.

It is no defence for a man to say that he thought the girl to be over 12 years old or that the girl gave her consent.

A man can be sent to prison for the rest of his life for this offence. For attempting to have carnal knowledge of a girl under 12
years old a man can be sentenced with 10 years in prison.



What should you do if it happens?

Go somewhere safe and tell an adult person that you trust
Do not wash or change your clothes.
See a doctor as soon as possible for a medical examination.
Report it to the police or get an adult to report it to the Police for you.
Stay in a safe place with people you trust and who will help you.



What is Incest?

Incest is either when any man has sex with his:

granddaughter, daughter, sister, half-sister, mother, aunt, mother's sister's daughter

father's sister's daughter, father's brother's daughter, sisters’ daughter, or brothers’ daughter



A man can be sentenced with up to 10 years in prison for this.

For attempting to commit incest a man can be sentenced with up to 7 years in prison.

The Law says it is not a defence that for the man to say that the woman agreed to the sexual intercourse. If the woman is under
21 and the offender is her guardian or has guardian rights over her then the courts can remove those rights from him.



OR when any woman above the age of 18 years agrees to have sex with her:

grandfather, father, brother, half-brother, son, uncle, father's mother's son, mother's brother's son, mother's sister's son, nephew
or half-nephew



A women can be punished with up to 10 years in prison for this crime.



You can get more help from:

Your local Police Station

Your doctor or local hospital

Catholic Women’s League
PO Box 1978, Nuku’alofa
Telephone 25 991

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