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Fiji Time: 6:53 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Worrying trend

Timoci Vula
Sunday, January 20, 2013

WHILE police continue to combat rape cases committed by perpetrators in a position of trust to victims, another worrying trend is emerging.

Police say it is the emergence of rape cases whereby the perpetrator is alleged to be a minor.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said a case was received at a police station from health authorities where a 13-year-old girl was allegedly raped by another 13-year-old student sometime last year.

Ms Naisoro said the accused would be brought in today for questioning as their investigations continued.

Yesterday, she said they also received three separate reports of alleged rape, all involving young girls — the youngest a seven-year-old.

In the first case, police are investigating a man who allegedly raped his 10-year-old niece.

In another incident, a 28-year-old driver has been charged with one count of rape allegedly committed on his seven-year-old step-daughter last month.

Police have also charged a 26-year-old man for allegedly raping a 14-year-old student on January 5.

Ms Naisoro said the accused was expected to be produced in court tomorrow.

She said investigations were now being conducted to ensure the perpetrators were brought to justice given the seriousness of the offences and with the directive into red alert response cases throughout the divisions nationwide.

"The Fiji Police is seriously worried as those in a position of trust continue to prey on the very ones they should be protecting," Ms Naisoro said.

"The home and our relatives are the very ones we trust on a daily basis however, some of these cases have shown that there are people who are capable of committing such crimes and completely breach that very trust leaving the victims in a situation whereby she feels traumatised for the rest of her life," she said.

She said the psychological, emotional and physical effects a victim had to endure for the rest of her life was devastating, "which is why we are calling on men to respect the rights of women".

"Rape is a violent crime and it robs the victim of their future.

"The Fiji Police Force needs everyone's help to eliminate rape," Ms Naisoro said.