NEWS

Churches Serious

Churches in Fiji are taking a serious stand against the sexual harassment of women and children in the country. This was demonstrated by Methodist minister Reverend Iliesa Naivalu, who spoke
20 Jul 2015 10:56
Churches Serious
Reverend Iliesa Naivalu reminds us on protecting our women and children

Churches in Fiji are taking a serious stand against the sexual harassment of women and children in the country.

This was demonstrated by Methodist minister Reverend Iliesa Naivalu, who spoke of our roles in curbing the rising problem in his sermon at the Centenary Church in Suva yesterday.

Rev Naivalu also spoke strongly on protecting our women and children.

“We are called upon to look after the needy and care for the poor and the less fortunate; our duty is to pray over those that need spiritual help and for those who face difficulties in their lives,” Rev Naivalu said.

He said we must look after those who were most vulnerable in our communities, women and children in particular.

“Rape and harassment are now a common crisis in our country today; it has become almost an everyday issue,” Rev Naivalu said.

He said Fiji had a high rate of violence against women and girls.

Rev Naivalu’s call has come amidst nationwide reaction to the rape of a nine-year-old girl in Nakasi a fornight ago.

The incident received widespread condemnation from religious and civil society organisations.

A youth group member of Davuilevu Housing, Talei Waibuta, even proposed life sentences for perpetrators during the public consultations in the area last week.

And Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama also made an urgent plea in Navua last week saying: “We must stop this horrifying crime. We feel for the parents, we feel for this little nine-year-old girl.

“We want harsher penalties. I am a parent and grandparent. I feel for this little girl. We must do something.

“Let’s continue to talk about getting rid of such incidents.”

The PM also urged parents, guardians, church and community leaders and all other stakeholders to keep discussing the issue every day.

Meanwhile, Rev Naivalu also urged parents to seriously look at issues affecting our children today such as glue sniffing, smoking, alcohol and kava, teenage pregnancies and sexual harassments.

Feedback: luisa.qiolevu@fijisun.com.fj

 


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