26 Jan 2019

Baby youngest rape victim in Fiji - report

7:13 am on 26 January 2019

A six-month-old baby was the youngest victim of rape in Fiji last year, a newly published report has revealed.

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Photo: 123RF

In its Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls Rape Case Analysis 2018, the Fiji Women's Rights Movement found that the oldest victim was a 71-year-old woman.

There were 94 cases decided in the high courts last year, in which all the accused were male - the youngest being an 11-year-old and the oldest at 85.

The Movement also found that the longest sentence given to a sexual offender was life in prison.

On average, offenders received jail sentences between nine years and 11 months, and 11 years and 10 months.

FWRM director Nalini Singh has called on stakeholders to work together to overcome the problem.

"The increasing prevalence and the heinous nature of sexual violence cases reported and heard in our courts is always concerning."

Ms Singh said since 2016, the average age of victims was under the age of 17.

"We are grateful that the courts have increased tariffs for child rape offences last month and hope that this will remind us all that there is zero-tolerance for sexual violence and rape.

"Sixty-five percent of the victims were also under 17 years of age."