FIJI NEWS

Rape incident worries minister

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. The reported incident of a step father raping his 12- year-old daughter, is of grave concern to the Ministry of Education. Interim Minister for
02 Jan 2009 12:00

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. The reported incident of a step father raping his 12- year-old daughter, is of grave concern to the Ministry of Education.
Interim Minister for Education Filipe Bole said the price was far too high on the victim and the perpetrator.
“One cannot put a price on the harmful and lifelong effects of rape on the victim,” said Mr Bole.
“Just two days ago police recorded an increase in rape reports. Compared to the same period last year there has been a staggering increase of 43 percent of reported cases. One hundred and twenty five rape cases were recorded last year but this year, reported cases went up to one hundred and seventy nine.” He said it was a clear indication of the seriousness with which members of the public and communities, neighbourhoods and villages should view the offence.
“Any sign of illicit suspicious behaviour should be reported either to another person and or to the police,” Mr Bole said.
“It is most unfortunate, that in many rape cases, the rapist is usually a person closely related to the victim.”
He said while relatives were supposed to be the most trusted people, unfortunately, the large numbers of rape cases, showed that young girls will now have to view some of their own male relatives with a measure of suspicion. “Continual dialogue should be encouraged not only at home but in churches and within the extended family and in the community. This can be a weapon to discourage or curb sexual abuse,” he said.
“The same dialogue can be extended to address the issue of sex, sexual abuse and sex related issues. The culture of silence on sex related topics can be a reason to fuel the growth of this offence.
“The Ministry of Education earnestly seeks the co-operation of parents and the society as a whole to play an active role in combating this evil.
The Ministry is determined and duty bound to curtail this heinous act on our children.” Mr Bole said all children have the fundamental right to a safe upbringing, good education and protection from harm. Homes and schools are supposed to provide these havens.




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