Categorised | Letters to the Editor

Frequency and brutality of rapes alarming

ALL Women’s Action Society (Awam) is horrified by a report in The Star of a serial rapist who repeatedly assaulted six secondary school students over one year and used the mobile phone recordings of the rapes as threats. This comes barely a few weeks after shocking reports of the gang rape of a 14-year-old student in a school in Rawang by seven classmates.

The increasing frequency and brutality of rapes and other sex crimes is alarming. According to statistics, the number of reported rape cases since 2000 has tripled to 3,626 in 2009, doubling within the last five years alone. These do not include other forms of sexual assault such as incest.

Using these figures, and accounting for the under-reporting (only one in 10 cases of rape is reported), it is possible to surmise that in Malaysia, approximately one person is raped every 15 minutes.

These two cases also expose a frightening pattern: young girls and teenagers are the primary victims of sex crimes. In 2009, all reported rape victims were girls under 18 years of age. Of these, more than half were below 16. These show that the young are disproportionately vulnerable to rape and other forms of sexual assault.

The use of mobile phones and other devices is also frequently being abused for sexual exploitation.

We admire and commend the young survivors in these cases for having the courage to speak out on the assaults despite the fear of retaliation. These acts of bravery have directly resulted in the perpetrators being caught by the police.

If only entire communities and institutions would also follow suit. In the case of the Rawang gang rape, the entire community and school kept silent, allowing the violations, assaults and crimes to continue. According to Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei, no one came forward to file a complaint.

Worse, there are serious allegations that the Rawang school has been covering up cases of assault. These claims must be investigated, and if found guilty, the institution is complicit in the crimes and must be held accountable.

As the sites of these rapes were within and surrounding the schools, the institutions must be held responsible for the safety and well-being of the students under their care. Otherwise, justice will yet again not be served.

Haslinah Yacob

8 June 2010

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5 Responses to “Frequency and brutality of rapes alarming”

  1. Hwa Shi-Hsia says:

    I hope Awam or some other group can start some kind of school education program at the secondary level to teach girls how to protect themselves, and boys that they MUST be respectful and gentle to be “real men” and not losers who think they have to take a woman by force because they can’t attract any. Justice must be served, but from the account above we clearly have to be more proactive about teaching kids to look at the opposite sex positively.

  2. Peter says:

    Before looking at external factors such as public education/awareness, maybe we should review ourselves as families and parents. Are we guiding our own kids correctly?

    Somehow, I feel that the root problem still comes back to proper upbringing and guidance. With the rat race in the real world, parents have sort of abdicated their responsibilities in bringing up well-balanced kids. That’s why there are more and more psychos these days.

  3. Munira says:

    “These two cases also expose a frightening pattern: young girls and teenagers are the primary victims of sex crimes.”

    It’s not exactly the most groundbreaking discovery.

  4. Shane says:

    The rising reports of rape might simply be a sign of an increased willingness of victims to talk about it?

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