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Power and control contributing factors to rape: Counselors

January 12, 2021 6:57 am

Despite a national outcry over incidents of rape, there seems to be no end to these crimes with new cases reported almost daily.

Counselors say while sexual violence can be caused by psychological issues, the majority of cases in Fiji are attempts by perpetrators to have power and control over their victims.

Psychologist Selina Kuruleca says unchecked social behaviors at a young age has been identified as one of the contributing factors to rape and sexual assaults.

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“They often start as a peeping tom, someone is having a shower, they go and spy, someone is sleeping in the room they spy, another thing they do is taking underwear, and taking undergarments of people they are interested.”

Lautoka based counselor Mercy Gogoi says an environment a child is brought up in also plays a major part.

She adds that perpetrators sometimes commit such crimes in the misguided belief that their actions are justified because of the behavior of victims.

“So if he finds a woman who is not good for example, according to him then he has this feeling of punishing her in a way. He thinks that rape is a kind of punishment, he feels that this is what he deserves because this is what she wants, the way she is dressed up, the way she is behaving, she is welcoming this kind of activity and he never regrets it.”

Gogoi says rapists don’t have any empathy towards their victims and cannot feel others’ pain and emotions.

She adds that the male ego and the belief that men are superior also play a part.

In 2018 and 2019 more than 480 cases of sexual offenses were brought to court with the youngest victim being a two-year-old.

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