SCF condemns disturbing rise in sexual offences

January 10, 2024 2:34 pm

[File Photo]

Save the Children Fiji is concerned about the shocking and highly disturbing increase in reported cases of sexual offences against children.

This as the December 2023 Rape and Sexual Offences Statistics released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions shows a distressing pattern of abuse with nine individuals facing a total of 44 charges related to sexual offenses.

SCF Chief Executive, Shairana Ali says of these charges, 33 were recorded as rape, four as indecent assault, and three as sexual assault.

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Ali states a particular concern is the fact that half of the incidents involved victims who were known or related to the perpetrators.

She says that the cases of violence against children and in particular, sexual violence point to a deeper problem within society.

Ali states there is a total breakdown of morality, and it is unacceptable for such heinous crimes against children to become the norm.

The SCF Chief Executive is urging a swift and comprehensive effort by the entire community to denounce these offenses in the harshest terms possible, to impose heavier penalties on those who commit them, and to increase funding for organizations that regularly assist communities in creating safe spaces for children.

The organization is calling for urgent and concerted efforts to strengthen the legal framework, improve access to support services for survivors, and raise awareness to prevent the devastating impact of sexual violence on children.