Blind woman disappointed after sexual harassment complaints dropped; Police Minister “promises” and asks to relodge her complaints

A woman who said she was blind told a government and constituency meeting this week she was concerned at how police treated complaints by people with disabilities.

She described the way how police dealt with their complaints as very poor (“mā’olalo ‘aupito.”)

The woman claimed she was sexually harassed twice since she went blind in 2002.

She said she lodged a complaint with police but it was dropped outright because, according to her, police said no one could witness the harassment took place.

She was allegedly sexually harassed for a second time and she again filed a complaint but police gave her the same response.

The woman told the meeting she was distressed by the way how police treated her complaints.

She asked the government to do something to make sure their complaints and concerns were treated fairly.

The Minister of Police, who was at the meeting, said in Tongan “Kou palōmesi” ( I promise) and invited the woman to relodge her complaints.

The meeting was part of a public fono organised by the Prime Minister’s Office to meet with people of all constituencies in Tonga.

Those who attended the meeting at Tongatapu 1 were concerned at liquor use and loud music coming from moving vehicles at their Sopu popular coastal end spot.

The Minister of Police Lord Nuku told the constituents there was no budget for police to adequately patrolled the streets, however he said his Ministry will look at reviewing its policy.   

The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister and some of his cabinet ministers.

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