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Justice Rajasinghe: Rape stats Involving Children Shocking

Rape statistics highlighted by the High Court Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe are shocking. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had stated that the youngest victim of rape and
20 Dec 2018 11:09
Justice Rajasinghe: Rape stats Involving Children Shocking

Rape statistics highlighted by the High Court Judge Justice Thushara Rajasinghe are shocking.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had stated that the youngest victim of rape and sexual abuse in the last nine months is a two-year-old.

The statistics had established that the sexual exploitations of children were prevalent in the society, he said.

The statistics also highlighted (refer to infographic) that between May 2015 and November 2018, of 1008 cases of rape and sexual offences filed, 502 of these cases – the victims – were children.

Out of these 502 cases, 260 victims were children under the age of 13 and 100 victims were children under the age of eight. 49 victims were children under the age of five.

Justice Rajasinghe said: “It becomes more serious when it is involved with a child victim. I find the rape in this nature is a very serious crime.

“In this case, the victim was sexually abused by a person who is known to him. This form of sexual exploitation of children by a known adult is a serious offence.

“In view of the serious nature and the prevalence of the crimes of this nature, the main purpose of the sentence is founded on the principle of deterrence.

“It is the responsibility of the court to deter offenders or other persons from committing offences of the same or similar nature and protect the community from offenders of this nature.

“A harsh and long custodial sentence is inevitable for the offences of this nature in order to demonstrate the gravity of the offence and also reflect that the civilised society denounce such crimes without any reservation,” Justice Rajasinghe.

He also highlighted that the actual figures for children who are victims of rape and sexual abuse would be much higher considering the number of unreported cases that are likely to exist.

“When cast against the total population of Fiji, which stands at only 913, 964, the proportion of children who are victims of sexual violence is significant and the numbers are extremely troubling,” Justice Rajasinghe said.

 

Annual statistics

In the year 2015, of the 138 rape and sexual violence cases filed, in 87 cases the victims were children. Of these 87 cases, in 40 cases the children were below the age of 13, and in 19 cases the children were below the age of eight.

In the year 2016, the number soared to 150 child victims and out of the 150 child victims, 70 children were below 13 and 20 were below the age of eight.

In the year 2017, there were 444 cases of rape and sexual abuse filed for that year alone.

That is 216 more cases than 2016. Out of these 444 cases, in 130 cases the victim were children. And out of these 130 children, 72 victims were below the age of 13 and 27 victims were below the age of eight.

Between January and November, 2018, the statistics indicate that out of the 198 cases of rape and sexual violence filed, in 135 cases the victims are children. Out of these 135 cases, 78 victims were aged below 13 years and 34 victims were below eight years. 13 child victims are below the age of five.

The sexual violence and rape had major impacts on the children. In many cases, the victim impact report provided to the court had stated the emotional and psychological effects the offences have caused to the victims.

Justice Rajasinghe said the impacts had adversely changed the victims into withdrawn, scared and paranoid children from fun, loving and active, happy children.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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