February 03, 2010 06:10:11 AMA+ A-| ||
Fiji’s police force has launched a fresh campaign to target perpetrators of the country’s growing number of child sexual abuse cases, warning predators that they will be hunted down.
“We will hunt you down and put you where you belong,” a police spokesman said in a televised message.
“Unfortunately that is the reality of the world we live in,” the spokesman said, citing the latest case where a two-year-old girl was found in the bed of her 51-year-old relative the next morning with apparent signs of abuse.
“Parents could ask what police are doing but police could also ask where the parents were when the incident occurred,” the spokesman said, while urging everyone to become more watchful over their children.
Police have received reports of 23 sexual abuse cases for the month of January 2010 and 13 reports of physical abuse cases.
Figures were unavailable for January 2009. A total of 954 physical abuse and 461 sexual offence cases were recorded last year.
Spokesman Sergeant Suliano Tevita told FijiLive that the most prevalent cases have been defilement and rape.
“Taking this into consideration, we are carrying out our awareness program to educate people in the community about these issues,” he said.
Tevita pointed out that the youngest victim was a two year old while the oldest recorded perpetrator was 76 year old.
He said that because abuse cases are more common in Fiji’s rural districts, police are working hard to focus their awareness programs in these areas.
Police are referring victims to the Department of Social Welfare for counseling.
“We will ensure that those perpetrators are kept away from society with the new Crimes Decree now in force,” Tevita said.