Kids rape kids – Don’t leave children in charge of toddlers

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Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Never leave a child to take care of young children or infants and always leave children in the care of someone you really trust, says Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali.

She said this in the wake of a recent report that a 12-year-old boy was charged last month for the rape of his three-year-old cousin after raping an eight-month-old baby the day before in Nadi.

Police also reported recently that two children aged 10 and seven were suspects in a case involving a sexual attack on a three-year-old in Vatukoula.

Ms Ali said it was understood that times were tough and parents had to work to provide for their family but the onus was on them to leave their children in safe hands.

“We have laws in this country that says it is illegal for children and infants to be left in the care of any person under the age of 18 years,” she said.

“So the burden of responsibility is on the parents to ensure they leave their children with an adult they trust and not with another child.”

Ms Ali said she welcomed plans by Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Minister Lynda Tabuya to establish a Department for Children within her ministry with trained and dedicated staff.

“I have raised my concerns with her over sexual crimes against children and the lack of response services including appropriate shelters for children, survivors and ongoing support.”

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