A child's life shattered by rape

Kelly Koh


MALACCA: Life is no longer the same for a 13-year-old girl who was raped and sodomised by a “friendly” neighbour last month.

Drained of any form of positivity, her fragile state had since been a constant worry for family members and
welfare officers assigned to her.

In any attempt made to speak of her ordeal, she would break down in tears and retreat in silence, isolating herself in a corner.

The rapist, a 21-year-old delinquent, had since been jailed 24 years and ordered to receive 20 strokes of the rotan, but the pain remains for the girl.

State Welfare
Department director Burhanuddin Bachik said despite looking normal on the surface, the trauma held a tight grip on her persona.

Burhanuddin said the victim had also resumed schooling and could open up with others as long as it was not about her harrowing experience.

“We are helping her try to lead a normal life and also get the parents to monitor her should she start isolating herself,” he said.

The girl’s parents are divorced and at the time of the rape, she was living with her mother, a civil servant.

“Now she lives with her father and three younger brothers.

“She is also monitored by a child protection officer and counsellors,” he said.

Burhanuddin said the girl became acquainted with the neighbour at the time when she lived with her mother and several relatives.

According to the facts of case, the girl followed the neighbour for a ride on his motorcycle, believing he wanted to bring her to his grandmother’s house.

Along the way, he stopped at a secluded area where he raped and sodomised her.

He also threatened to kill her if she told anyone about it.

A report was eventually lodged and the rapist, who had a criminal record, was convicted after he admitted to
committing the offence.

“Traumatised by the incident, the girl fears the sight of boys other than her father and brothers,” said Burhanuddin.

“We are watching over her with counsellors providing constant emotional support, besides running psychological tests on her.” 

The New Straits Times visited the home where the victim had stayed with her mother and grandmother, a 55-
year-old with hearing disability.

An aunt of the victim said looking back, the family
would not have allowed the girl to go with the neighbour, but they were unaware at the
time.

She said life had to go on to help her niece, who was now quiet and reserved.

“I think she is suffering inside.”