The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement says that it condemns all forms of violence against women and girls and acknowledges the decision by the Supreme Cou
The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement says that it condemns all forms of violence against women and girls and acknowledges the decision by the Supreme Court to increase the tariff for child rape offences in Fiji.
The current tariff for child rape offences in Fiji is now 11 to 20 years imprisonment compared to the previous 10 to 16‑year term.
FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh says jail sentences are meant to provide justice to the victim, remove the perpetrator from society so that he or she realises the gravity of their actions and to serve society with a message that there is zero tolerance for such violence.
Singh says this is a timely reminder and action, as the global community marks the 16 days of activism against gender‑based violence from November 25th to today.
FWRM says it acknowledges the national commitment towards eliminating violence against women but reiterates that gender‑based violence is everybody’s business.
Singh says it is imperative that all cases are reported to the police and that justice is served.
She says they have seen higher sentences meted for sexual assaults and rape but they keep seeing worse and more crimes against women and girls.
Singh says one way to seek remedy is to have higher sentences but they have seen that this is not a deterrent.
She says women and girls face significant violence and make up majority of the statistics as victims and survivors.
According to FWRM’s research, 9 in 10 victims and survivors of sexual offences in Fiji are women and girls. At the same time, 9 in 10 perpetrators of sexual offences in Fiji are men and boys.
Singh says attitudes towards women and girls need to change at all levels of society. She says a study can be done in the future on why men and boys feel the need to act in such ways.
Singh says world over we know that rape and sexual violence is about power over the victim and survivor. She says it is because as a society we don’t value women and girls as equal.
She also says women must not see this as normal behavior and men must realise that they are wrong and violating the law.