Opinion

We Need To Be The Change For A Safer Tomorrow

A very brave young woman student is today recovering with family after fighting off an attacker who wanted to rape her. Another young woman student is today recovering in hospital
02 Jan 2017 14:36
We Need To Be The Change For A Safer Tomorrow
Rape

A very brave young woman student is today recovering with family after fighting off an attacker who wanted to rape her.

Another young woman student is today recovering in hospital after she was badly assaulted and suspected to have been raped.

Both were attacked while walking along a Suva path in daylight. This is shameful. A society where our women are not able to walk on the streets or paths alone is a shame on all of us.

Our law enforcement agencies are not failing.

We are failing as human beings, as Fijians.

We are failing because there are some amongst us who think it is all right to want to take advantage of a woman. We are failing because some amongst us think they can get away with such behaviour.

Our judiciary has in its way issued a stern warning. Rapists are sent to prisons for decades, so why are our women still not able to take a walk on the street alone without any fear?

Why is it that a person thinks he can defile a woman? This is Fiji, for crying out loud. Not Papua New Guinea where such things are prevalent.

Are we becoming as bad as Papua New Guinea?

Why are we failing so badly? What is lacking in our society, in very strong religious communities that men think they are free to defile a woman?

We are failing, Fiji, and this is a real shame.

Why is it that people think they can break into someone’s car or house and steal things that have been bought with hard earned money?

Is there an element of fear missing in such people?  Who is really to be blamed here when our women and children are not safe to step out of their homes and take a stroll down an isolated street? Surely not the woman who thought she is safe to walk home. Surely not the child who was just returning home from school when taken to a bush and brutally raped.

We can stand at the pulpit and preach all we want but every one of us should hang their heads in shame when another woman or child is defiled in our communities.

These perpetrators no doubt will be caught and knowing our police force, they will be caught sooner rather than later.

Perhaps it is time we have a sex offenders registry and update it with details and photographs of people who have been found guilty of committing such grievous crime. Every neighbourhood has a right to know what type of people reside there. A publicly available sex offenders registry will be another avenue through which people can safeguard themselves. Such criminals should not be allowed to hide behind the Yellow Ribbon initiative.

A woman never gets over a rape or sexual assault so why should we allow those perpetrators to serve their time and re-join the society as if nothing has happened. No woman or child deserves to be raped or defiled.

We need to be the change we want to see in the world and unless we take steps in changing the mind sets of such people, every one of us – every woman and child – is at risk.

I do not want to live the rest of my life in fear. Neither do the women in your family.

jyoti pratibha

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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