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Rape Crisis praises 14-year sentence

Rape Crisis praised the sentence of 14 years handed down in the High Court today to a man who subjected his neice to 9 years of rape and sexual abuse.

"This young woman was placed into the care and protection of her uncle and aunt while she was alone in this country - for nine years they subjected her to constant sexual and physical assaults," said Claire Benson, National Spokeswoman for Rape Crisis.

"Unfortunately this sort of betrayal by family members is all too common - our statistics have shown us that family members are the largest group of sexual offenders."

42% of women and children contacting Rape Crisis between 1992-1998 report being raped or sexually abused by family members.

"We 're pleased that the seriousness of this crime has been reflected in the severity of the sentence," said Ms Benson,

"Rape and sexual abuse leave major long-term effects whether committed by a stranger or by someone known to you. We hope this message is heard by the community - rape and sexual abuse within the family is a crime."

For further comment, contact Claire Benson, 021 684 227 or (04) 384 7028.

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