Opinion

EDITORIAL-Let’s Stop This Evil Of Rape, Sexual Assault And Child Abuse

The latest rape and sexual assault statistics from May released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) are just as alarming as the previous month’s report. It
02 Jun 2017 09:44
EDITORIAL-Let’s Stop This Evil Of Rape, Sexual Assault And Child Abuse
Rape

The latest rape and sexual assault statistics from May released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) are just as alarming as the previous month’s report.

It is disturbing to note that there are people in our society who are sick in their heads.

They walk among us and pretend that they are normal when in fact they are not.

They have gone ahead to allegedly commit heinous acts of rape and sexual assault.

Twenty eight people were charged with a total of 72 separate incidents last month. The offences were rape (51), attempted rape (one), indecent assault (three), defilement (two) and sexual assault (15).

There were 33 victims of the 72 separate incidents of whom 21 victims were under the age of 18 years.

There were three accused persons under the age of 18 years. Of these three, one of the accused is alleged to have raped a three-year-old male. This is shocking and deplorable.

What is more alarming is that there were 12 incidents where the accused and the victims were related to each other. In these cases, children and women are taken advantage of by their own family members.

Of these 12, there were two serious sexual offences where the victims were 1-year-10-months old and 1-year-11-months old. The accused persons were a 22-year-old father and a 60-year-old grandfather.

There was another incident where the victim was three years old and the accused was his 32-year-old stepfather.

Another serious sexual offence involved a 73-year-old man who was charged with the rape of his daughter and daughter- in- law and sexual assault of his granddaughter.

In another incident, a 61-year-old man is alleged to have sexually assaulted a mentally challenged victim. Who in his right frame of mind would prey on a mentally challenged person? Only an insane person would do it.

The release of these figures co-incides with the release of child abuse figures. Between August 2016 and April 2017, 787 child abuse cases were recorded.

There has been a 34 per cent increase from the 2014-2015 statistics. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa says almost every week we hear of cases in the news of children who have been sexually abused.

The fight against this scourge in our communities begins at home, she adds.

All these sexual crimes beg the question: What is the role of our religious organisations? Can they do something and help?

Our religious leaders need to move their focus away from politics and other activities and concentrate on the spiritual upbringing of their congregation members.

They need to focus on teachings that will lead to stopping rape and sexual assault.

They need to play a bigger role.

We all need to play a bigger role. The fact that toddlers are being allegedly raped by their family members is a national shame.

Where is the humanity in us? Let’s do something about it and stop this evil.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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