If child victim afraid to report crime, sexual predator walks free


KUALA LUMPUR: The shame suffered by sexual assault victims, especially children, who do not lodge police reports, means the predators cannot be charged in court, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said this situation was worrying, but there was nothing that the authorities could do about it.

"Many are ashamed and will not lodge a police report....there is nothing we can do. This worries me ...because it is only the tip of the iceberg..only a small number of cases are reported," she said.

Rohani was speaking to reporters after acting as moderator for a panel discussion on "Understanding Children Sexual Crimes - the International Perspective" at a two-day seminar on child sexual crimes here today.

She said the ministry, through the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), had organised various programmes to educate the public on sexual education.

"We meet the people and tell them to lodge police reports. Through the 'Pekerti' programme, we educate children that they should be brave and share information on sexual crimes," she said.

She said there must be early emphasis on sexual education so that children are aware of sexual assault.

"We do not want the perpetrators to tell the children that there is nothing wrong (in their actions), that it is fun...this should be prevented," she said.

Meanwhile, Bukit Aman's Sexual, Women and Children Investigation Officer DSP E. Saroja said among the challenges facing the division was getting information from child victims as they were too young and could not understand the questions.

"To resolve this, we use various techniques when approaching them to make them feel comfortable with us, including wearing civilian clothes and using our counsellors," she said.

Saroja said as of 2016, there were 7,862 reported sexual crime cases involving children including rape, incest and unnatural sex.

She said in 89 per cent of the cases, the perpetrators were known to the victims.-- BERNAMA