Disturbing rise in sexual offenses against minors

June 18, 2024 6:57 am

[Source: EM]

Assistant Minister for Women Sashi Kiran has made a call pleading on parents and guardians to prioritize their children’s welfare over social and other commitments.

This comes in response to a shameful and disturbing rise in sexual offenses committed against minors, with 74 victims under the age of 18 reported so far this year.

These cases include attempted rape, rape, indecent assault, defilement, and sexual assault.

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Kiran also raises concern over parent’s excessive involvement in social events while children are being left behind.

“It’s unbelievable the amount of money that is spent generally in the social events and then the same parents and then say there’s not enough food to eat. So there has to be a reprioritization of how do we manage a social life and how do we manage our children.”

With the majority of sexual offense victims being known to the perpetrators, Kiran emphasizes the risks posed to children’s safety and security by those close to them.

“Now we are finding that with squatters and with urbanization, there’s not enough people looking at or looking after our children when we are working. And it is not easy for many of the families to make sure that the child is protected. We are looking and talking about programs that need to be developed for child care between after school till parents come home.”

Fiji Council of Churches General Secretary Reverend Simione Tugi is also urging parents to keep tabs on their children.

“There are so many events that are going around in Fiji right now and our children are just left behind and they are left at home and they do their own thing. And right now we have, no, we don’t have the time for our children.”

Reverend Tugi is urging parents to create safe and supportive home environment and to stay engaged in their children’s lives.