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Fiji’s Minister For Women: Rise In Rape Cases Due To Decaying Moral Values

Vuniwaqa slammed allegations by Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Member of Parliament (MP) Ro Filipe Tuisawau which suggested that rape and sexual assault cases had increased under the FijiFirst leadership.
13 Feb 2019 10:00
Fiji’s Minister For Women: Rise In Rape Cases Due To Decaying Moral Values
Minister for Women, Children & Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa reiterated in Parliament yesterday that the rise in rape and sexual assault cases was because of decaying moral values.

Ms Vuniwaqa slammed allegations by Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) Member of Parliament (MP) Ro Filipe Tuisawau which suggested that rape and sexual assault cases had increased under the FijiFirst leadership.

The debate stirred after Ms Vuniwaqa responded to questions regarding the progress of the National Gender Policy in Parliament yesterday.

The SODELPA MP in regard to the increasing rape and sexual assault cases said: “The other side has always emphasized their progress but if we look at the statistics under their leadership, that has totally deteriorated in the last five or 10 years.

“What are they doing on the national situation on rape and sexual assault which I consider a serious national emergency.”

In an impassioned retort, Ms Vuniwaqa said: “It is very simplistic to say that statistics in relation to rape is because of leadership, how is that?

“The rape of women and the sexual violence on our children is not because of leadership, it is because of us, it is because of the breakdown of the family unit, it is because of the decay in moral values and that is where we are to look.

“How are we teaching our children at home, how are we teaching our grandchildren, what values are we imparting to them.

“This is critical, that is where the emergency is.”

She added the Government had implemented initiatives like toll free numbers 1325 for violence against children and 1560 in relation to domestic violence to encourage victims to report offences committed against them.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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