Deep Dive

Shine A Light: ‘I Was Inappropriately Touched In Y13’

"One of the instructors grabbed me by my breast pocket and I felt his hands gripping what was underneath, tightening, his fingers slowly sliding."
26 Aug 2020 15:58
Shine A Light: ‘I Was Inappropriately Touched In Y13’

Cadet training in schools has often been labelled as a means of character building.

It’s designed to instill discipline, perseverance and self-control.

But does it really instill such values?

Some former students willingly came forward to shed some light about the physical and verbal abuse they faced during the training sessions.

Now as young adults, they’ve boldly stepped forward to share their experiences.

They did not realise at the time, that they were being abused.

Perhaps the stories of these young people will prompt cadet training providers to relook at how they conduct their sessions, who should be present and at the same time have both female and male instructors.

The Republic of Fiji Military Forces declined to comment.

“I was “inappropriately touched” in Year 13.

This is something I have not told anyone, not even my parents.

One of the instructors grabbed me by my breast pocket and I felt his hands gripping what was underneath, tightening, his fingers slowly sliding.

It hurt me for the next two days.

I could have reported the matter to my parents or teachers back then, but I never really understood what sexual harassment was.

I was traumatised after the incident, and when I got over it, I realised it was sexual assault, clearly assault. He had no right to touch me like that; I did not consent to it.

He only wanted to tell me to see the officer in charge, something so ordinary, he did not have to hold me at all for that, and this was done publicly. I had never felt so helpless in my life.

Not only were the instructors extremely misogynistic, homophobic, racist, sexist and treated the students like animals, they are also sexual predators, and not everyone realises this.

From openly calling the students ‘gandu’, telling us how they beat their wives when they disobey them, to touching and harassing girl…To read more, subscribe to our e-edition.

Feedback: ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

TOMORROW: We speak to an offender, who tells us, in detail, why he committed the offence.

If you are a victim of child abuse or know someone who might be, call the Child Helpline on 1325.

Shine A Light is the Fiji Sun Investigative Project.



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