VILLAGE bylaws can be deemed ineffective because it has not prevented the high number of rape cases reported from rural areas of the Northern Division, says Macuata chief Ratu Aisea Katonivere.
The Tui Macuata said it was a shame to see a rise in rape cases around the country, particularly in Vanua Levu.
He has also opened doors of Caumatalevu to civil societies and groups that preach the word of fighting this social ill.
"Our bylaws are ineffective whereby we could address the issue at village level," said Ratu Aisea.
"The doors of Macuata are open to those groups that are willing to come in and hold awareness programs in our villages," he said.
Ratu Aisea also called on stakeholders to join hands and seriously take a step forward to protect women and children.
"It is our responsibility to put a stop to rape cases and all forms of violence against our children and women.
"Traditional and church leaders need to step forward and declare a safe village and community for our women and children," he said.
The Bua Provincial Council has also pleaded with their people to respect and value the life of their women and young ones.
Bua Provincial Council chairman Alipate Radrodro said people should learn to respect each other in order to value life.