Fiji Victims Of Anti-Gay Violence Often Fear Community Reprecussions If They Report Attacks To Police

Advocate: report such hate crimes as there is the legal framework for protection

By Lice Movono

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 12, 2017) – Homosexuals who encounter violence on our streets are often too frightened to report it to Police because they fear repercussions from the community.

Following attacks on two gay people in Nasinu recently, Haus of Khameleon Director Sulique Waqa called on the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer and Intersexual to come forward and report violence.

"The victims were targeted because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity so obviously this is a case of hate crime and must be reported," she said.

"I encourage the victim to come forward and report the crime to the Police or the Fiji Human Rights and and Anti-Discrimination Commission."

Sulique said the Haus of Khameleon, a youth led movement by transgender women advocating for trans equality said it would assist the victims to report violence as well as help source counselling.

The HoK said Fiji had the existing legal framework which was aimed at protectiong LGBT including Fiji's 2013 constitutional provisions on non-discrimination .

"Second, lack of trust due to fear of discrimination, harassment, and violence likely discourages LGBT citizens from working in cooperation with law enforcement," she said.

"Community willingness to engage with law enforcement is helpful to effective policing, which may seek to combat crime and improve the criminal justice system by involving the community in crime control strategies."

Fiji Times Online.
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