7 Jul 2015

Reported rape on the rise in Fiji

3:40 pm on 7 July 2015

The Director of Public Prosecutions in Fiji says the number of rape cases reaching his office has been steadily increasing with the most recent figures for May and June showing an increase from 35 to 43 cases.

Shamima Ali

Shamima Ali Photo: SUPPLED

The co-ordinator of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre Shamima Ali welcomed the increase in reported cases as 90 percent of rape cases go unreported.

She says culture, stigma and insensitivity within the legal system are some of the factors behind the low reporting, as well as the high incidence of cases involving family members, or people known to the victim.

Ms Ali says court cases are often drawn out which can be traumatic for the victims.

"For example recently there was a case of a 12 year old being raped by five men in a village, five years ago. And it just came to the courts, last about two weeks ago. And the men were acquitted."