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Proactive steps needed to tackle rape epidemic

January 27, 2019 7:50 am

Proactive steps needs to be taken to tackle the rape epidemic in the country.

This was highlighted during the Fiji Women Lawyers Association workshop yesterday.

According to the figures released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, 822 rape and sexual offense cases were filed in the High courts around the country since 2017.

In the last two years, the youngest victims of serious sexual offense were less than two years old and their culprits were either their father or grandfather.

While highlighting cases where women were aware of their partner’s evil doings, Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, stressed on the need for change in such attitude.

“Women must also undergo awareness as to what is the right approach to these incidents. We must stop women from being insecure in saying well I am not doing anything about it because I don’t want to lose my husband or my de-facto. You mean you choose your husband and de-facto over your children? The mother must understand that protecting their children is their first responsibility.”

Lawyer, Filimoni Vosarogo believes lawyers also need to be proactive.

“You have a role to play, individually we do. We can go into our village community meetings and discuss these things, because whether you like it or not there is some air of arrogance around our communities. They don’t understand much on what the law requires and what the law prohibits, so our role is in that.”

Vosarogo has also called on the Association to team up with other stakeholders and raise awareness and educate Fijians on the law.