6 Jan 2006

Call for greater resources to tackle sexual crime in Fiji

10:23 am on 6 January 2006

Fiji's Women's Crisis Centre says more resources are needed to crack down on perpertrators of sexual crimes.

A man has appeared in court charged with impregnating his 14-year-old niece who was staying with him after the death of her father.

The 55-year old man has denied the charge and been remanded in custody to reappear in court next Wednesday.

Center Co-ordinator Shamima Ali says statistics indicate over 75 per cent of perpertrators are male, and someone the victim knows.

She says too many cases are inadequately dealt with through the courts.

"There has to be more resources within the police force as far as training is concerned, treating sexual abuse and assault and rape as a serious offence and not a reconcilable one or one that can be dragged on and on. And the our court or justice system fails women and children all the time y'know cos you get light sentencing and cases drag on and on and men get away with it."

Shamima Ali says more people need to report incidences of sexual abuse, rather than just keeping it quiet.