THE Social Welfare Department in the North recorded a total of 36 sexual offence cases between January and April this year.
Speaking at the Cakaudrove Provincial Council meeting on Taveuni on Thursday last week, the department's representative to the meeting, Timaima Gavidi, said these numbers were alarming.
Ms Gavidi told members of the council the safety of women and children was being threatened.
"Something needs to be done with the increasing number of sexual offences being committed right in our villages and provinces," she said.
"I plead with the members of this honourable council to raise awareness to your own people and work together to lessen this social evil.
"Our children and women continue to be threatened in their very own homes by the very people they trust and know."
Ms Gavidi also told the meeting the department would soon implement the paymaster concept of social welfare assistance to villages in the province.
"This is a concept where recipients of assistance will receive their money in cash so that it is easier for them," she said.
"The concept is not a new one and it will be piloted in Tawake before it will be taken down to islands in the marine zones of Cakaudrove."