Creep (custom)

Creep (custom)

Creep, (Krip - pijin) (Gara = babatana), refers to a customary practice in Choiseul Province, Solomon Islands whereby males may seek to find a wife.

In parts of Choiseul Province, female children upon reaching maturity are forced to leave the family home and live in a communal house within the same village. Whilst the female children may still visit their families during the day and at mealtimes, they may no longer sleep under the same roof as their parents, sisters or younger brothers.

To "go creep" refers to a practice whereby males residing at communal house will literally creep to houses in other villages where unmarried daughters are residing with their families, and raise the attention of the said daughter from the darkness through the window. If the daughter accepts the approach the male is permitted to enter through the window.

As custom dictates, once the couple has paired up in this way the male then literally will belong to the girl's family. He is put to work for the family and is expected to marry the girl shortly afterward.

This customary practice has attracted significant criticism in recent years due to it having been raised as a defence in sexual assault cases brought before courts within the Solomon Islands, whereby the accused and/or the victim are from Choiseul Island.

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