Director of the Dipatment Blong Koreksonal Sevis (DBKS), Johnny Marango, has called on the Government and other relevant institutions to urgently address the increasing trend of sex-related crime in the country.

The call came following the findings of a survey which revealed an alarming statistics that approximately 60% of offenders currently serving their sentences at the Vanuatu Correctional Centres are for offenses of morality or sexual offending, and some of these are repeat offenders.

Released last month, the study entitled, ‘Offending Against Morality in Vanuatu’ featured 120 convicted sexual offenders who were serving their terms in the correctional facilities and the Probation Service in December 2016.

The study has revealed the sad truth that most offences are against family or household members and people known to the offenders.

It found that 90% of victims knew their offenders while 61% of victims were family or household members.

“Sixty-one per cent of sexual offending in the 2016 study occurred in rural areas compared with 36% in 2008.

“Thirty-nine per cent occurred in urban areas in 2016 compared with 64% in 2008.

According to the survey, 57% of offenders were reported to be in a relationship at the time of their offending. Ninety-two per cent of offenders named a religious affiliation while 12% were reported to have leadership roles in their churches.

A disturbing revelation from the study showed that the ages of offenders ranged from 11 years old to 72 years old, across all age groups and not confined to young male offenders only.

Forty-one per cent were 25 years or under, 22% were aged between 26 and 35 at the time of their offending. 35% of offenders were over the age of 35 years.

The most common offence types are: Rape-Sexual Intercourse Without Consent-56%; Unlawful Sexual Intercourse – with or without consent (under 15 years of age)- 17%; Sexual Intercourse With Child Under Care or Protection- 8%; Indecent Assault- Act of indecency with a young person under 13%- 9% and Incest- 8%.

The survey also highlights that 39% of offenders were also convicted on a related offence while 9% were repeat sex offenders.

It found 88% of offenders saying drugs nor alcohol were not the contributing factors to their wrong doing.

It was also recorded that 55% used additional physical violence on their victims, 22% of victims were threatened with violence and 9% of victims who were children were coerced with bribes in forms of money or gifts.

One of the findings of the survey revealed that victims were female, apart from one male and their ages ranged from 3-69 years. Two victims were reported to have disabilities. READ MORE