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Statistics reveal more sexual offences

August 04
12:00 2011

Written By : SITERI SAUVAKACOLO. Latest statistics has revealed 608 sexual offences were reported to police in the first half of 2011, compared to 431 for the same period last year.
This was revealed during the Director of Public Prosecution Workshop in Suva last week.
It was also argued that these statistics showed an increase in the reporting of these offences, rather than an increase in offences themselves, suggesting that victims felt better supported by family and civil society networks to come forward with evidence, and put faith in the justice system in the country.
The workshop, led by former High Court Judge Nazhat Shameem was designed to provide technical training on gender sensitivity and the prosecution of gender crimes in Fiji.
It included presentations from leading psychiatric experts, an examination of overseas cases, and a mock Court scenario in which officers summarised a number of interactive case studies.
William Monteith, project manager at Pacific Dialogue led a session on overseas jurisprudence and Battered Women’s Syndrome during the event.
He said there was a very positive reaction to the workshop, because of the input of experts from the fields of law and mental health.
“The medical and psychiatric impacts of gender violence are not commonly understood, but they are critical to comprehending the nature and severity of the crime,” Mr Monteith said.
“Gender sensitivity is important not only in law enforcement agencies, but in homes and workplaces across Fiji.
“This goes beyond simply memorising the law. It includes an understanding of the historical processes that underpin gender discrimination and violence in society today”.
Pacific Dialogue is human rights non-governmental organisation which is working to acquire funding for a series of training sessions on gender crime and counter-human trafficking for law enforcement agencies later in the year.

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