NEWS

Fijian Woman Flees Cook Islands, Claims She Was Kept As ‘Sex Slave’

The woman claimed the alleged sexual abuse started when she was 14 years old.
26 Mar 2019 15:45
Fijian Woman Flees Cook Islands, Claims She Was Kept As ‘Sex Slave’

A young Fijian woman has fled to Fiji from Cook Islands claiming she was sexually abused and kept as “sex slave” for six years.

Her legal counsel, human rights lawyer Sabrina Iqbal Khan of Lautoka, revealed that the 20-year-old was assisted in a joint operation involving people in
five countries, Fiji, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East.

The woman, who arrived on March 20, alleged yesterday she was sexually abused by a family member for six years.

She claimed she had reported the matter to the Cook Islands Police, but nothing had been done.

“The two Police officers who took my complaint said that they will do my medical, but after that I heard nothing from them,” the woman said.

She claimed the alleged sexual abuse started when she was 14 years old.

“When it first happened, my mother didn’t let me complain to the Police, instead she took me to church and she told the Radini (pastor’s wife) that I was making false accusations and just to pray for me,” she said.

“When it was happening, I had no family members to support me.
“If my mother found out I had friends, she would come to school and bombard the teachers and the principal. There was a lot of drama and a lot of emotional and physical abuse as well. My mother knew about every single thing that was happening.”

Speaking from the Cook Islands, her mother said the allegations her daughter made were false.
The mother said the person she accused had slapped her once because he found out that she was talking to her boyfriend.

“No sexual abuse, no nothing,” she said.

When asked if the Police had come to their house, she said no.
“If this was happening to her, why she did not tell me?”

Lawyer Ms Khan said: “I’ve known her (young woman) since she was 18 and we met on Instagram, Facebook. She used to follow my human rights cases and my Amnesty International work. I have a few law students who write to me saying you’re an inspiration, so I tend to mentor them,” she said.

“This thing she did not disclose to me because for her it was ‘Who do I trust’, her trust had already been violated so many times, she told me around Valentine’s Day this year.”

A Cook Islands Police officer confirmed yesterday that Police were aware of the young woman.
The young woman was reported missing by the family.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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