Fiji Council Of Churches Condemns Attack

We are responding to the brutal sex fiend who attacked in broad daylight in Holland Street, Suva. The Fiji Council of Churches condemn and say no to all kinds of
03 Jan 2017 10:16
Fiji Council Of Churches Condemns Attack
Holland Street in Suva. Photo: FBC

We are responding to the brutal sex fiend who attacked in broad daylight in Holland Street, Suva.

The Fiji Council of Churches condemn and say no to all kinds of excuses that justify violence against women and girls, FCC invites its member churches and partners to join the World Young Women’s Christian Association’s campaign “No Xcuses for Violence against Women”.

“There is no excuse for violence against women. There is no excuse for ignoring it!” With this message the campaign marks the World YWCA Week without Violence observed from October 13-19, leading up to 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign, which started on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ended on December 10, Human Rights Day.

“Throughout the course of history, both men and women have given excuses to justify sexual and gender based violence, accusing raped girls or women for their dressing or disobedience. Even cultural or religious teachings have been used to justify violence.

“In this campaign we are saying there are no excuses under the sun. Neither religion nor the name of God should be used to condone gender injustice and violence.”

There are many erroneous perceptions in our Fijian community about rape.

We need to dispel myths so that a survivor can be treated with dignity and respect when she seeks the help she needs. It is a myth that only young, pretty, women are sexually assaulted but the reality we have seen in Fiji that the age of a rape victim ranges from infancy to old age. Her appearance is seldom a consideration. Rapists choose to attack a victim who seems to most vulnerable. Opportunity is the most important factor determining when a rapist will rape.

We have heard that a girl who wears sexy clothes or flirt with men provokes rape but the reality is that a rapist chooses his victim for their vulnerability and accessibility, without regard to her physical appearance or behaviour. The only person to blame for rape is the rapist. Children, elderly women, and women who dress modestly have been raped.

We also heard that rape is an uncontrollable act of lust. Most rapes are spontaneous acts of passion where the assailant cannot control himself but the reality is vast majority of all rapes in our Fijian society are planned.  Rape is a premeditated act of violence and not a spontaneous act of passion.  The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger and control, not sexual gratification.

We are often told that most women are raped by strangers but Police statistics tells us that only a small percentage of rapes are committed by strangers. It is estimated that in 80 per cent of the cases, the woman knows the rapist.

We call on the Government, NGOs, FBOs and all communities to stand against rape and all kinds of violence against our women and children.

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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