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Sex Crimes On Young Raises Alarm

Sex Crimes On Young Raises Alarm
The Minister for Women , Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa handing a ceritifice to Kulukulu Early Chilldhoon Education centre in Sigatoka on 27 July 2018. PHOTO: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA
July 27
10:07 2018

Parents have been reminded to be alert because of the increasing incidences of sex crimes on children says Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

While speaking at the closing of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Week at Kulukulu Public School in Sigatoka, she said that as a mother she was deeply concerned about the issue

According to data released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Vuniwaqa said from January to June 2018 there were a total of:

  • 308 victims of rape and sexual offences
  • 199 are children, those below 18 years old
  • 64.6 per cent of the victims of rape and sexual offences are children

The worrying fact, she added, was that a significant number of perpetrators of rape and sexual offences against children are known to the child-victim or was in a fiduciary relationship or a position of trust vis a vis the victim.

“In the 121 incidences of rape and sexual offences against children the perpetrator is related to the child and 34 perpetrators are children themselves. In 2017 the youngest victim was one year 10 months; average age of the youngest victims is six years and in 2018,youngest victim was two years old; average age of the youngest victims is four point five years,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

She added this demanded that we relook at the way we saw our children and to be more vigilant in the way they were monitored including their whereabouts.

“We need to be wary of the people we entrust our children with,” the minister said.

“The sad thing is, some of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against children are their very own parents and grandparents committing the crimes in their very own homes.The one place that a child should feel safe in; being violated by the people a child should feel safest with,” Minister Vuniwaqa said.

“We can’t afford to sweep these incidents under the carpet.  Rape and sexual crimes against children thrive under a shroud of silence.

“If we remain quiet about it for the sake of keeping the family together or saving the reputation of the family, then we are as guilty as the perpetrators for continuing the vicious cycle of crimes against children.”

Edited by Percy Kean

arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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