7 Jul 2005

Fiji women's group blames community attitudes for rape cases

10:27 am on 7 July 2005

The Fiji Women's Crisis Centre is blaming community attitudes for many instances of rapes in Nairai near Rakiraki which have come to light in the last few days, years after they began.

The self-confessed murderer of the three teenage Lata sisters, 42-year old DIP CHAND, pleaded guilty to ten counts of rape on Monday involving three other girls, two of them teenagers.

The Centre's director, Shamima Ali, says the rapes should have come out years ago.

But because of the stigma and prejudice attached to rape, the Rakiraki rapes were kept hidden.

Ms Ali says her 20 years of experience in this field shows that women don't want to be dragged through the courts over long periods of time and asked detailed questions about their previous sexual history.

She says because of this kind of process, people prefer to drop cases of rape, sexual abuse and child molestation.