THE Fiji Women's Crisis Centre has praised the judicial department for sentencing a 74-year-old man to 11 years behind bars for the rape of a seven-year-old girl earlier this year.
FWCC co-ordinator Shamima Ali said rape was a crime that should be dealt with severely and offences such as these called for deterrent sentences as sexual abuse of children by their elders was quite prevalent in the community.
"And in this case it is likely to have an impact on the emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing of the survivor," said Ms Ali in a release.
However, Ms Ali said the group was concerned about the reduction of the sentence from 14 years to 11 years.
"The crisis centre is, however, concerned about the fact that the sentence was reduced by three years for the 'remorse' and 'forgiveness' sought by the prisoner, given that the prisoner did not plead guilty and the child was forced to go through trial, and further that the sentence was reduced by another three years for the accused's 20 months spent on remand.
"The fact that the child had to go to trial and re-live the experience of what happened to her is not only distressing and traumatising, but should also have been considered an aggravating factor in the sentencing of the accused," she said.