NATION

No More Safe Haven, Ministry Welfare Officer Tells Bua

Province told of rape, abuse cases happening in their communities and recommends more family time to help to keep it from continuing.   The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty
22 Sep 2018 18:52
No More Safe Haven, Ministry Welfare Officer Tells Bua

Province told of rape, abuse cases happening in their communities and recommends more family time to help to keep it from continuing.

 

The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is calling for more family time as there has been an increase in sexual abuse against women and children.

This follows after a three-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 74-year-old grandfather in a village in Bua.

According to the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Bua welfare officer Josefa Naba, the Bua Province has recorded 18 cases of rape from January to September, this year.

Speaking to the District of Kubulau at Namalata Village in Bua on Thursday, Mr Naba said there was no longer any safe haven in Fiji.

“More sexual abuses against women and children, which are committed against them, are conducted by their close relatives,” Mr Naba said.

“Homes, church, schools and neighbourhoods which used to be safe once, are no longer safe. We used to hear and read about crimes such as this happening overseas, now it’s happening in front of our doorsteps.

“This is why we are stressing the need for family time, so they can learn to respect and love each other. But it is not just a child’s own family that matters.

“In neighbourhoods where families look out for each other and each other’s children, kids know they have someone to turn to for advice or a safe haven.

“This kind of community support network is particularly important in highly stressed neighbourhoods, where families and children can otherwise be easily overwhelmed by the numerous challenges they face every day,” he said.

Mr Naba said that domestic violence against women and children was on the rise in the country adding that cultural practices that contradicted achieving a domestic violence free society should be eliminated.

“If their culturally interpreted role is to bully children and women, then it is time to relook at this,” he said.

“It’s time to get rid of cultural and religious laws and practices stopping us from achieving a violence free society.”

“It is everyone’s responsibility to aid towards it. Every citizen can play a part in stopping crime against women and children. We do know that sexual violence against our children is happening in our communities, but what are we doing about it?” he asked.

Assistant Superintentendant of Police Hungat Naicker said locals should refrain from conducting such offences and there was a No Drop Policy in place.

“Refrain from committing such crimes as this. Those of you who do commit crimes such as this will have to pay the price,” he added.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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