Majority of victims of sexual violence cases decided in 2020 knew their attackers, according to a report by the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement.
In the report, released recently, titled ’Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls Rape Case Analysis 2020’, the FWRM said in 63 per cent of the 81 cases decided in Fiji’s High Court last year, the victim/survivor knew the accused.
“Changes needs to happen everywhere, from the national level to within our families, our homes, schools, churches, on the streets and our communities because the perpetrators are not strangers, they are from our communities,” FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh said.
In all of the 81 cases, the accused were male with the youngest aged 14 years and the oldest, 78, whereas all victims/survivors were female with the youngest, 3, and the oldest, 83 years old.
Contrary to past trends, the report showed that the average age of the accused had decreased to 25 years compared to 34 to 39 in the previous years.
The report also established that it took the local court system an average of three years from the day of the offending to decide on cases.
FWRM’s latest analysis and report is part of its ongoing research and advocacy on strengthening Fijian women’s access to justice that started in 2016.