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Call for change in attitude

Nanise Loanakadavu And Tevita Vuibau
Friday, February 14, 2014

FIJI needs an urgent revolution in the attitude of men towards women because of the rise in sexual assaults against them.

And there are 739 cases of sexual assaults pending in all courts, including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, says Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Of these 477 are cases of sexual assault against people over the age of 13 while there are another 262 cases of child sexual assault.

The overwhelming majority of all these cases are assaults on females — women and girls.

Commodore Bainimarama labeled the action as a "national disgrace" and something that should shame every Fijian.

"We knew the problem was bad but not this bad. And it has to stop," Commodore Bainimarama said in his recent tour to Kadavu.

"The days of any lenient attitude to raping, demeaning, mistreating and exploiting women are over.

"I am issuing instructions to the police that they are to adopt a policy of zero tolerance of all violence against women."

And women's groups say they support what the PM said but added this had been an ongoing issue and one that needed to be fixed at all levels of society.

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