Help for incest victims

Ministry to place sisters raped by their own close relatives in welfare homes, give them protection and help

Datuk Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: The two sisters from Kampung Daha Seroban in Serian allegedly raped by their own grandfather, father and uncles will be placed in welfare homes and given counselling to help them get over their ordeal.

It is alleged that the girls – aged 19 and 14 – were raped by their grandfather, father and two uncles at the village, about a 40-minute drive from Serian town and the older girl is now pregnant.

The four men – aged between 26 and 57 – were arrested on Friday after police received an initial report on the older victim, who is pregnant and has been referred to Serian Hospital.

The older girl claimed that she had been repeatedly raped by the four men since she was 13, and her younger sister since she was nine.

Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, said the girls need a safe place to stay and all the help they need to carry on with their life.

“Following investigation and discussion with the JKM (Welfare Department) in Serian and the doctor (who attended to the victim), we have decided that the younger girl needs to be provided with protection. A court order will be produced on Monday to place her at Rumah Kanak Kanak Toh Puan Norkiah.

“The 19-year-old girl will be placed at an NGO (non-governmental organisation)-run facility, the Convent Serian,” the minister said yesterday.

Fatimah expressed shock over the case, stressing that being the elders of the family, the alleged perpetrators should be the ones protecting the girls instead of taking advantage on them.

In this regard, she uttered the Malay idioms ‘harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi’ and ‘haruan makan anak’ — both pointing out situations where close family members or friends abuse and destroy the trust given to them.

“The victims are underage. The alleged perpetrators are close family members who should provide safety (to the girls) and protect them from harm.”

Fatimah also sympathised with the pregnant victim, who could have gone further in her studies and landed a job instead of being burdened with the responsibility that came with being a young mother.

“Their future is now affected. We hope the alleged perpetrators to be brought to justice, and given sentence befitting their crime,” she said.

Fatimah also called upon other victims of incest to not be afraid – they must report the wrongdoing to the authorities.

“Victims of incest are normally reluctant to report because the perpetrator is a family member. They keep it to themselves for fear of repercussion from the perpetrator, or other next-of-kin,” she said.

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