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This study provides information obtained from Correctional and Justice records about Sexual Offending in Vanuatu – Offences against Morality – and a profile of 120 sexual offenders on sentences at the end of 2016.
Observations and Significant Findings
- Sexual offenders continue to be the highest proportion of offenders dealt with by the Koreksonal Sevis in Vanuatu. Approximately 60%.
- Most offences are against family or household members and people known to the offenders. The study shows that the majority of offending happens in people’s homes and villages. 90% of victims knew their offenders. 61% of victims were family or household members.
- 61% of sexual offending in the 2016 study occurred rurally in villages, compared with 36% in 2008. 39% occurred in urban areas compared with 64% in 2008.
- 57% of offenders were reported to be in a relationship at the time of their offending.
- 92% of offenders named a religious affiliation. 12% were reported to have leadership roles in their churches.
- The ages of offenders ranged from 11years old to 72 years old – across all age groups – and not confined to young male offenders. 41% were 25 years or under, 22% were aged between 26 & 35 at the time of their offending. 37% of offenders were over the age of 35 years.
- The most common offences types were: 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 i.e. under 18 – 8%; Indecent Assault – Act of indecency with a young person under 13 – 9%; Incest – 8%
- 39% were also convicted on a related offence; 9% were repeat sex offenders.
- 88% had no record of drugs or alcohol being contributing factors.
- Additional violence used or threatened: It was recorded that 55% used additional physical violence on their victims; 22% victims were threatened with violence; 9% – children – were coerced with bribes.
- Victims were female, apart from one male, their ages ranged from 3 to 69 years. Most were under 30 years old, with the largest group under 15 years old. 52 % were 15 years old and younger, 31 % were between 16 and 20 years old, 17% over 20 years old.
- Two victims were reported to have disabilities.
- Some islands have a higher incidence of reported sex offending in comparison to their population size.
- Sentences continue to be longer than in previous studies.