Today, 12th of August, Statistics Mauritius has revealed the data quantifying the occurrence of sexual abuse in the country in the year 2013. Last year, 88 % of the victims were women having been the subject to sexual abuse; most of these were college students.
The report has shown that the trend of sexual abuse has been reaching new peaks. From 2003 to 2013, the situation has witnessed an upward pattern. From 2012 to 2013, the number went from 455 to 588: a 29 % increase. The social fabric of our country is being undermined more and more by scourges that are but manifestations of the sick mindset of certain people. To make it worse, the reason behind the increase is, to a large extent, being attributed to those crimes falling under the Child Protection Act. Among these, 32 % involve sexual relations with minors of less than 16 years of age, with 10 % of these being rape cases.
In 2012, the rate of sexual abuse for a population of 100 000 people was recorded at 36. In 2013, it inched up to 47. Those cases related to women of 59 years old were at a rate of 59 in 2012, and going up to 76 in 2013.
As if this information was not horrendous enough, the report revealed more gruesome facts. 55 % of these cases occur in houses, with 23 % involving close family and friends perpetrating the crimes. From 2012 to 2013, the number of sentences pronounced involving cases of sexual abuse rose from 190 to 220: the increase was particularly caused by more cases of rape and sodomy.
Crimes involving sexual abuse has thus contributed a lot to the increase in the rate of crime in the country which was by 2 %.
If this trend is maintained, what are we going to leave for posterity? An environment plagued by the doings of sick and sadistic people? A world which is not safe for children, girls and women to live in? Does this data herald a bleak and dark future for Mauritius? Or, will this be motivation for the authorities and every single responsible party to pool in efforts to reverse this dangerous pattern?