Over last weekend, the newspapers reported two horrific stories about rape, both involving underaged girls.
In one case, we were told that four teenage boys had gang-raped a 13-year-old girl, in a hut, in an oil-palm plantation in Kampung Manong, Ayer Hitam.
When some villagers came upon the group, two boys fled on a motorcycle, leaving behind two teenage boys, aged 14 and 15, with the victim. They tried to hide behind a tree, but were eventually caught by the villagers. The victim’s father has since made a report at the Ayer Hitam police station.
The boys were caught around 2 pm on Thursday, 15 September. Did this incident happen during the short school break between Hari Raya Haji and Malaysia Day? Did the parents know the whereabouts of their daughter? Did the girl know the boys? Had she been led there under false pretences and was she a willing victim?
The second story is about a Sarawakian man, and it echoes the story of the 78-year-old Austrian called Fritzl, who enslaved his daughter, Elisabeth for 24 years, in Amstetten, before she was rescued. Fritzl was jailed for life in 2009 for rape, incest, enslavement, neglect, and murdering one of his children.
A 16-year old Sarawakian had travelled from Lundu in Sarawak to visit her father, in Kuala Lumpur, because she wanted to lodge with him, whilst she received further education in the city. The 38-year-old man lived in a flat in Chow Kit Road.
She was raped on the night she arrived. Over the following few weeks, he repeatedly raped her, attacked her with a hammer, and partially strangled her or threatened her with a knife, to force her to have sex with him, and to warn her to keep silent about his evil deeds.
The sad thing is that the girl arrived in KL on 26 August and her neighbours did not hear her screams for two weeks. They immediately alerted her mother, in Lundu, who lodged a police report on 8 September.
The father, who sold religious text books for a living, was caught. When the girl was rescued, she was bruised and cut, and rushed to hug a policewoman, who was part of the rescue team.
The victim’s father denied that he had forced his daughter to have sex with him, and claimed that he “hugged his daughter to cure her of her home-sickness.”
Why did it take the police another week to rescue the victim? The mother must have given the girl’s address to them, when she made the report.
So, why was there a delay? This poor girl’s ordeal could have been over more quickly.
The girl was working at a nearby shop, which was close to the Chow Kit police station, to help support herself. Having been beaten and physically hurt, she was so traumatised and fearful of her life, that she failed to lodge a police report.
The two stories of rape, over the weekend, should make officials at the relevant ministries revise their plans to introduce sex education only for boys.
What is the point of only giving sex education to boys? Girls need sex education just as much as boys.
They need to know that if they are raped, they must report it, and not suffer in silence.
Many girls are not only afraid of repercussions, but they are also afraid of the social stigma and of being blamed.