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Fiji Time: 8:39 AM on Friday 25 April

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Teen sexual abuse

Shayal Devi
Thursday, January 23, 2014

A SIGNIFICANT number of teenagers become pregnant after being sexually assaulted.

Lautoka-based NGO Empower Pacific revealed between September last year and January this year, the ten teenage pregnancy cases referred to the counselling agency involved young girls who were victims of sexual assault.

CEO Patrick Morgam said as a result, the teenagers were unable to instigate contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy.

"In the period of September to present, Empower Pacific has responded to ten separate cases of teenage pregnancy," he said.

He said the issue was serious and needed the attention of parents and members of the community.

"Anecdotal evidence from previous reporting periods also suggests that in teenage pregnancies, there is a lack of education of ways to avoid getting pregnant.

"In relation to lack of knowledge on ways to avoid getting pregnant, education and awareness in our homes, schools and communities is essential.

"Teenage pregnancy is usually preventable.

"As adults, it is our responsibility to provide our young people with enough information so that they can then make informed decisions about their sexual behaviour.

"This would then not only decrease pregnancy but better protect them from sexually transmitted infections, like HIV."

Mr Morgam went on to say the majority of cases that Empower Pacific came across involved pregnant teenagers going on to bear her child while still being supported by parents.