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Sex crimes victims

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, November 10, 2017

THERE is too much emphasis on sex offenders and not much on the victims of sex crimes.

This was the view of Fiji Police Force Deputy Commissioner Isikeli Ligairi at the 37th Asian Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators which ended in Nadi yesterday.

He said the way victims were treated and stigmatised only added to the trauma and ordeal they had suffered by being victims of sex crimes.

"Please allow me to be blunt and say that as a society, we spend too much time focusing on the perpetrator and unfortunately the victim is left to fend for themselves," he said.

"Not only they have to face being judged by family members and the community, they also have to live with the stigma of being a victim their entire life and that is an enormous burden to shoulder.

"As a society, we are guilty of spending more time talking about the rapist more than we talk about the victim.

"And we are equally guilty of belittling the victim although they have not done anything to justify being further vilified and victimised."

Mr Ligairi called for a change in mind-set from members of the public towards those who had suffered at the hands of sex predators.

"It has reached a point where a victim is remembered for the wrong reasons.

"Are we going to continue to follow our stubborn ways of thinking based on assumptions and continue to lay blame on victims?

"Or are we going to change our mind-set and appreciate that victims need our love and protection?"

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