Surge In Sex Crime Reports In Fiji Linked To Increased Awareness

Advocate: 'past sex crimes were hidden in a conspiracy of silence, often because the perpetrators were family members'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 26, 2017) – The head of Fiji's Women's Crisis Centre says a surge in reported sex crimes shows the willingness people now have to come forward.

Shamima Ali was speaking after Minister of Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, told parliament that soaring numbers of sexual offences showed the country's values had degraded.

Ms Ali said it didn't indicate a surge in offences.

Rather she said in the past sex crimes were hidden in a conspiracy of silence, often because the perpetrators were family members..

"But now because of a whole lot of awareness and the government taking up the cudgels and faith based organisations - we have been doing this sort of work for over 30 years in this country, and other NGOs and so on... people are getting the courage, they are accessing justice."

Shamima Ali said the high level of sex offending was due to gender inequality and the patriarchal system that existed, not just in Fiji but across much of the Pacific.

Radio New Zealand International
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