KUALA LUMPUR – More than half of the rape cases reported in the country over the past three years involved victims aged between 13 and 15.
More alarmingly, only about 10% of the reported statutory rapes were â€œforcedâ€ on the minors. The rest were â€œconsensualâ€.
Bukit Aman Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Divisionâ€™s assistant principal director Asst Comm Jenny Ong Chin Lan said it was also distressing to find that some of the girls involved were â€œproudâ€ to be prizes for Mat Rempits who won illegal motorcycle races.
Citing the case of a 16-year-old girl who was disowned by her family and taken in by the Welfare Department, she said: â€œShe admitted having sex with several youths, saying she liked the thrill of the Mat Rempit lifestyle,â€
â€œThese kids make poor choices. More often than not, they get no proper care or attention from their family so they opt for love from their peers.
â€œIf their peers are wild, then they will most likely turn out the same way too,â€ she told The Star.
Statutory rapes accounted for 1,424 out of the 2,767 rapes reported in 2013 while 1,243 of 2,349 cases recorded in 2014 involved minors.
This year, 920 statutory rapes were reported out of 1,794 cases recorded as of October.
In most cases, parents only discovered the rapes after finding out about their daughtersâ€™ boyfriends.
â€œMany of these girls involved are going through a stressful phase as teenagers. Those who cannot adapt well will stray. One of the major factors that contribute to statutory rape is culture and peer pressure,â€ she added.
ACP Ong said in that actual cases of statutory rape, the victims were forced upon or tricked.
â€œThere have been cases of girls who got to know their would-be assailants on social media or group chats. They become too trusting and agree to meet after chatting.
â€œThese girls will meet the person at a public place before being taken to a secluded location where his friends would be waiting.â€
â€œSometimes, the girl goes out with friends, meets a group of boys for drinks or meals and then gets gang-raped,â€ she said, adding that many of victims involved school dropouts.
ACP Ong, however, said the number of statutory rape cases had dropped over the past three years due to the Women Awareness Campaign conducted since 2012.
â€œSuch campaigns are no longer limited to shopping malls in the towns and we also reach out to those in the rural areas,â€ she said.
ACP Ong said more importantly, Bukit Aman had also initiated a child awareness campaign.
â€œAt the kindergarten stage, we educate them on what is a â€˜safe touchâ€™, how to have â€˜safe touchâ€™. At the primary school level, we drill into the children to be alert against strangers. At secondary school level, we talk about sex and what can cause pregnancies and where to get help,â€ she said. – MyNewsHub/The Star