Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions publishes sex-disaggregated data

9/02/2018

More education and awareness is needed to address the high prevalence of sexual violence and promote attitudinal changes towards women and girls.

The latest media update from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) revealed a total of 227 people were charged with 444 separate counts of serious sexual offences in 2017.

The Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) commends the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for publishing the annual sex-disaggregated data on Rape and Sexual Offences Statistics 2017.

“It’s important to present sex-disaggregated data to reflect the realities of how men and women are impacted by sexual violence. The data validates concerns on the prevalence of the issue and that women and girls make up a distinct majority of the victims/survivors,” said FWRM Executive Director Nalini Singh.

This was highlighted in FWRM’s Balancing the Scales: Improving Fijian Women’s Access to Justice Research report as a recommendation to present sex-disaggregated data on rape and sexual offence statistics and serious crime (Non-Sexual Violence Offences) statistics.

“It’s encouraging to see the efforts being made to take up the recommendations that were outlined in the report. The ODPP also significantly contributed to the data and information in the research,” said Ms Singh.

FWRM has also committed to the recommendations highlighted in the research. As part of this, FWRM is continuing its collaboration with the Fiji Courts on the presentation and publication of case data that presents 5-year trends for different types of family law and violence against women and children cases. FWRM is also continuing its gender analysis of High Court and Magistrate Court cases.

“The statistics are sobering and reiterates that sexual violence against women and girls is still prevalent,” said Ms Singh.

The latest ODPP media update revealed that all of the accused charged were men and boys. Sixty-five percent of the victims/survivors were under the age of 18.

“This is a manifestation of deeply entrenched patriarchal values and systems that are instilled in our societies. More needs to be done to empower women and girls and inform our society as a whole, on the issues that contribute to this.”

“Work is being done by civil society organisations and the formal justice sector agencies but it’s everybody’s responsibility to be informed on these issues. Everyone plays a role towards influencing change and creating a more progressive, safe, healthy and happier culture and society for everyone.”

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