6 Dec 2017

Concerns in Fiji over high incidence of rape

8:53 am on 6 December 2017

Three police officers and a school's head teacher are among 21 people who were charged with sexual assault or rape in Fiji in November.

In a release, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said there were 20 victims of 31 separate incidents, of whom 15 victims were under the age of 18.

The figures, which are released monthly, come as a senior judge called for communities to address the issue of sexual violence, revealing there were 291 rape cases pending in Fiji's High Courts.

The ODPP said two police officers were charged with two counts of abduction of a 17-year-old with "intent to have carnal knowledge," while another was charged with the sexual assault of a female officer.

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Photo: 123RF

In another incident, a school head teacher was charged with rape, sexual assault, indecent assault and indecently annoying pupils.

The police commander, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, said the figures revealed a troubling failure -- including in the police force, where he said attitudes need to change.

A recent survey by the Fiji Women's Rights Movement said a majority of those who filed a complaint did not feel safe at the police station, were further harassed, or felt they were not being taken seriously.

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