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Report reveals stats on sexual assault cases

Litia Cava
Friday, November 24, 2017

THE research report by Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) on Balancing the Scales: Improving Fijian Women's Access to Justice revealed that 73 per cent of victims/survivors of sexual assault cases that was referred to Medical Services Pacific (MSP) by police were 17 years of age and younger.

This was from the 187 cases that FWRM analysed.

According to the report, for 94 per cent of the cases that MSP doctors completed a medical report for, only 17 of the 187 cases progressed to the formal justice system. The report further stated that 92 per cent of victims knew the perpetrator before the incident as a friend, boyfriend or acquaintance.

Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde said during the launch of the report on Tuesday that he was also looking at setting a victim support officer in his office.

"I had noticed that when women, the vulnerable, have been able to receive the services of women's crisis centre or MSP — we are in a better position to bring the cases before the courts," Mr Pryde said.

"One of the areas that

does not seem to be getting a lot of attention is victim impact statement and this is often just done by the police officer who very quickly just takes a few details from the witness and then it goes up to court.

"What you really need is to have a physiologist or somebody like that being able to give an expert opinion on exactly what the impact of this offence has been on the victim and that is not available at the moment except on very small cases."

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