An increase in the number of reports of rapes is a reflection that more sexual crimes are being committed against women-and an indication that more women are having the courage to report the offences, said Hazel Brown, head of the Network of Non-Governmental Organisations for the Advancement of Women.
"It's reasonable to assume it is a combination of both, and it is an increase in the population we are not seeing before, like children and the elderly being attacked.
"And it's not only an increase in rape but in all the sexual-offences categories," Brown
More than 200 additional cases were reported up to the end of September this year, compared to the whole of last year, police public information officer ASP Joanne Archie said on Tuesday.
said up to the end of September, there were 689 reports of sexual offences being committed, while a total of 484 reports were made in 2011.
These statistics included rape, statutory rape (sex with a minor), incest and sexual assault.
said with the advent of more NGOs, especially those targeted to assist women, victims have gained the courage to speak out.
The proposal by NGOs to have Government review the Domestic Violence Act was a step in the right direction, as rape and sexual offences also occur within relationships.
said what must also be targeted was the justice system, as victims often had to endure further distress when cases dragged on for months and in some instances years.
added: "Victims must have easier access to the justice system.
The police also must be monitored in ensuring they are actually following the rules and regulations on how to treat with victims of sexual offences and not turn them away from stations."
Asked whether there had been an improvement in the attitude and behaviour of police officers in handling sexual-abuse cases, Brown
had noticed a positive difference but there was still a need for ongoing workshops for greater sensitisation.