NATION

High Rate Of Heinous Nature Of Sexual Violence Concern Women’s Rights Group

A total of 94 rape cases were decided in the High Courts of Fiji last year and FWRM has published a number of trends that stood out from their analysis.
26 Jan 2019 10:00
High Rate Of Heinous Nature  Of Sexual Violence Concern Women’s Rights Group
The increasing prevalence and the heinous nature of sexual violence cases reported and heard in our courts is always concerning, according to the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.

A total of 94 rape cases were decided in the High Courts of Fiji last year and FWRM has published a number of trends that stood out from their analysis.

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) has published Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls Rape Case Analysis 2018.

The paper is a continuation of the annual rape cases analysis undertaken by FWRM since 2016 as part of our ongoing research and advocacy on strengthening Fijian’s women’s access to justice.

A total of 94 rape cases were decided in the High Courts of Fiji last year and FWRM has published a number of trends that stood out from their analysis.

In all 94 cases of rape decided by the high courts in 2018, all the accused were male, the youngest accused was 11 years old and the oldest at 85 years of age.

All victims/survivors of the 94 cases were female with the youngest being a six-month-old baby and the oldest victim/survivor, a 71-year-old woman.

The average age of the accused was at 39-years-old and the average age of victims/survivors at 14-years-old.

“The increasing prevalence and the heinous nature of sexual violence cases reported and heard in our courts is always concerning. It is testament to the fact that there is an urgency needed to try and make a more concerted effort between all stakeholders to overcome this in our communities,” FWRM’s executive director, Nalini Singh said.

FWRM also studied the trends in sentences meted out during convictions and found that the highest sentence delivered last year was a life sentence.

On average, sentences meted out in sexual offences and rape convictions start from nine years 11 months and average final sentences were at 11 years 10 months.

The team also analysed and compared trends from 2016, 2017 and 2018 and one of the more startling findings was the consistency of the average age of victims/survivors between the 3 years.

“From 2016 to 2018, the average age of victims/survivors of rape cases were all under 17-years-old. The statistics also showed that the age of the youngest victims/survivors decrease each year and we are grateful that the courts have increased tariffs for child rape offences last month and hope that this will remind us all that there is zero tolerance for sexual violence and rape and that it is totally unacceptable in our society,” Ms Singh said.

65 per cent of the victims/ survivors of rape between the three years were also under 17 years of age.

“More of the analysis is available on the FWRM website here: http://www.fwrm.org.fj/images/A2J/FWRM-2018-Rape-and-Trend-Analysis.pdf and we acknowledge the Courts Registry and the High Courts for their transparency and publication of these cases on PacLii.”

Source: Fiji Women’s Rights Movement

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