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35+ years of activism & feminism in Fiji

Published

14 September 2023

Author

Fiji Women's Rights Movement

Themes

Rape Statistics Shameful – Whose Responsibility is This?

6/07/2023

Rape Statistics Shameful – Whose Responsibility is This? 

FWRM is again appalled at the statistics of rape and sexual violence released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) office for the month of June. Are we as a nation not ashamed of such statistics?

Every month and year horrifying statistics of rape and sexual violence are published by ODPP and despite the advocacy for calls to protect and ensure the safety of our women and girls, the data indicates society’s lax attitudes towards sexual crimes with the continued high rates of rape against this vulnerable group, especially girls.

"FWRM's analysis of trends of rape cases and sexual violence cases against women and girls also conclude that in every year from 2016 to 2022, except 2017, more than 50 percent of such cases finalised in the High Court fall under the age of 18 years. The ages of the youngest victims each year continues to be under 5 years. This is disturbing and shameful. What are we doing about this? Who is to blame? This tragic situation of sexual crimes, perpetrated by grandfathers, fathers, uncles, cousins, etc means that we are a long way away from ensuring safe homes and spaces for our young girls," FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh said.

Ms Singh said the gravity of these statistics and the severity of violence in our society is largely ignored and we need to start seeing who the real perpetrators are and what needs to be done to change mindsets and attitudes for the sake of our women and girls.

Additionally, FWRM urges us all to move away from the common patriarchal perspective that mothers are to blame for "failing to teach their daughters". This common misconception apart from re-emphasising gender roles, also serves to remove accountability of perpetrators and shift the responsibility away from others to provide a safe environment for us all.

“The onus to protect our children and women should not just be on our mothers, or women's rights groups or the formal justice sector agencies but the urgency is on everyone to do their part.  Let us learn to call out behaviour that perpetuates rape and violence. Misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, victim blaming, trivialising sexual  crimes, tolerating sexual harassment – all these help to create a society that disregards women’s and girls' safety. It is not the time to police women and girls but to ensure that our men and boys know that such acts are totally unacceptable,” Ms Singh said.

FWRM offers Gender Sensitisation training for groups and communities to learn about gender norms and roles, harmful gender stereotypes and biasness that impact women and girls.

FWRM acknowledges the government financial support towards the Fiji National Action Plan (NAP) to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and hopes that we as the people of Fiji, will practice values of respect, common decency, humanity and accountability to our efforts in diminishing the culture of rape from our communities. Our values are what make or break our society.

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For media queries please contact FWRM Communications Officer Serelisoni Moceica on 8677330 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.