3 Dec 2015

Rising number of child sex abuse in Fiji 'concerning'

7:16 am on 3 December 2015

Fiji's hospitals are seeing increasing cases of child sexual abuse and putting the cause down to broken homes and urbanisation.

Dr Reati Mataika is a paediatrician at the Colonial War Memorial hospital in Suva and also works with the Ministry of Health on child protection.

She says cases have spiked in the last three to four years, and there are increasing numbers of juvenile offenders, many of whom are suspected of being victims themselves in the past.

Dr Mataika says complicated family arrangements provide opportunities for offenders.

"These children are actually more vulnerable to getting abused because of the circumstances surrounding their safety, where they are, who looks after them. We're seeing that with the rural to urban drift happening here and also because of the family breakdown in our community."

Reati Mataika says most abuse happens in the home, by extended family members or non-relations such as step-fathers.

fiji flag at parliament

Photo: RNZI/ Sally Round