Church condemns actions of Rietveld - Solomon Star News

Church condemns actions of Rietveld

12 December 2019
Kevin Rietveld.

THE Christian Reformed Churches of Australia (CRCA) says they have taken a strong stance against the actions of Kevin Rietveld, who was jailed for three years recently for abusing girls here.

That’s according to CRCA’s chairman of the National Sexual Abuse Complaints Committee Rev Dr Leo Douma in a statement issued to the Solomon Star yesterday.

Rietveld used to head SWIM, a missionary organisation fully supported by CRCA, and which has its head office at Lungga, east Honiara.

It was during his time here that Rietveld sexually abused four underage girls. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

"As a community we grieve with and stand by the young women involved, and their families, for the criminal acts perpetrated against them,” Douma said.

“It took courage for them to come forward with their allegations…although they have not needed to go through court proceedings, they still have a long way to go for healing.” 

Douma said it is also vitally important that the people of the Solomon Islands, are aware that the CRCA, together with the team at the SWIM base in Honiara, have taken a strong stance against the actions of Rietveld. 

He added the SWIM team and the Royal Solomon Islands Police, as well as the Australian Federal Police, have been working in close and constant collaboration. 

Douma commended the staff at SWIM who first listened to the girls as they told their stories and supported them as they went to the police. 

He said the team at the SWIM base had previously been unable to speak about their involvement as normal legal procedure required them not to comment while allegations were being investigated and before the court. 

 “The team at the SWIM base can now say how deeply grieved we all are about what has happened to the girls and condemn the actions of Rietveld. 

“We will continue to pray for the girls for their healing.”