Save the Children Fiji’s Chief Executive Officer, Iris Low-McKenzie says that the current statistics from ODPP indicate there is a growing epidemic of sexual offending against children in Fiji.
The recent statistics released by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) for March 2019 alone, indicate that over 60% of sexual offences were perpetrated against children under 18 years. The ODPP recorded 19 cases of sexual assault, one case of abduction with the intent to have carnal knowledge and one case of attempted defilement.
Ms. Low-McKenzie highlighted that “the figures and the growing trend of sexual offending against children were disturbing as in many cases the perpetrators are either known or related to the child. In 2018, 123 out of the 195 cases involved children as victims.We are failing our children who need to feel safe and protected in their homes and environments. As a country that prides itself on its religious and cultural values that is aimed at protecting children, these glaring statistics show these values are fast disappearing especially when such offences are committed in the homes by close family members.”