‘Rape case serious’

A 13-year-old boy was taken for questioning at the Labasa Police Station on Tuesday this week for allegedly raping his sister.

Police spokesperson Inspector Jokatama Qio confirmed the alleged incident happened in the victim and the suspect’s home in a settlement in Labasa.

“We understand that the girl is a juvenile and we are aware that she is the biological sister of the suspect,” he said.

“The case is a serious one and our officers are questioning the boy at the Labasa Police Station.”

Save the Children Fiji chief executive officer Iris Low McKenzie said both children involved needed professional help because this experience would have lifelong impact on their lives, adding that the sibling’s abuse was very hurtful as they lived together.

Ms McKenzie said the victim could feel pressured and trapped by the abuser over a long period of time and that physical abuse and threats were often used to make sure younger siblings kept the sexual abuse secret. She said investigation was needed into the boy’s background to understand what was behind that behaviour because it was not known whether he has been a victim of sexual abuse.

“The victims usually feel powerless to stop the abuse especially if it is a sibling, so we commend the reporting of this case,” she said.

“In many cases, we leave older children to take responsibility for the care of younger children and it’s just as important for children to understand that this responsibility has limits.

“Responsibility allows older children to make decisions while taking care of younger children, but it doesn’t give them the right to threaten them or hurt them.

“Children, who have been abused, either by family members or by adults or older children, sometimes react by becoming physically aggressive”

Ms McKenzie said they also reacted by coaxing, manipulating, or forcing younger children into the same kind of sexual behaviour.

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