Shocking statistics have been released by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre today as Coordinator, Shamima Ali says they have seen 209 child rape survivors from January to September this year.
The age of child rape survivors between January to September range between 3 to 17 years.
Ali compares this to the data from 2016 to 2021 where they dealt with about 225 child rape survivors from the ages of 2 to 17 years old.
While speaking at the second Safeguarding In Sports webinar through Team Up, Ali says most of the perpetrators in these cases were family members.
Only about 4 percent were strangers.
She also says they don’t believe the cases are increasing neither here nor the Pacific but there is more awareness and more reporting on it.
Ali says other agencies like the government, religious and sporting bodies are also coming forward.
She says Fiji is quite far ahead than other countries as we do have child protection laws, we have a Child Protection Unit within the Ministry of Women and Children, we have good ideas, welfare officers who are dedicated to children but implementation and recognition of risk is very low of children being molested.
The Coordinator says they also find development agencies dedicated to children shy away from the sexual abuse of children which is a problem.
Ali says child abuse is physical, emotional, sexual abuse, neglect etc.
She points out that there is little recognition for physical abuse that is rife in all our countries, even though we have laws in Fiji forbidding the beating up of children, law enforcement does not take this into account because it is a norm.
Ali says sexual abuse is a big elephant in the room as most of the perpetrators are known to the child and known to the women, and are family members.
She says in Fiji we do have a lot of awareness mainly because of organisations like Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.
Ali says we have very good data coming from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Social Welfare and others.
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations