After 11 hours of escalation, some 30 armed security personnel stormed a home in Tbong Khmum province’s Memot district after responding to reports of a potentially deadly violent domestic altercation there, police said yesterday.
According to Chok Sokao, director of the provincial crime bureau, when police entered the home, they found 33-year-old Leng Dany confined by her husband Kry Poin.
The 31-year-old had allegedly locked his wife in their home, slashed a deep wound along her eyebrow with an axe and beaten her with sticks. Poin was arrested, and Dany was hospitalised.
Dany’s case coincided with the Saturday release of rights group ADHOC’s most recent report on crimes against women in the Kingdom, which noted that while reported instances of domestic abuse had fallen in 2014, perpetrators often face impunity in Cambodia’s courts.
In the past year, ADHOC received 149 complaints of domestic violence, 17 of which resulted in death. The figures represent a steep drop from the number of domestic violence cases reported in 2013, when the agency received 275 complaints.
While the dramatically different numbers may point to an encouraging decline in violence against women, it may also indicate an increasing lack of willingness to report crimes that occur within the home.
“Women are still victims of domestic violence . . . [and] need mechanisms from the government to protect their rights, as well as penalties for offenders,” said Chhorn Sokunthea, the head of the women and children’s division of ADHOC, adding that it remains a “serious issue”.
Too frequently, she noted, cases of violence against women are granted undue impunity as authorities turn a blind eye and victims refrain from reporting the crime to authorities or taking legal action in court.
In 2014, only one third of perpetrators of domestic abuse were sentenced to jail time, and less than half of reported victims of abuse filed for divorce.
Meanwhile, the agency recorded and intervened in 201 rape charges, including 16 women who were victims of gang rape. In the past year, 10 women were murdered by the perpetrators of their rape.
In one case in December, neighbours alerted ADHOC when they witnessed a 17-year-old old boy raping his 8-year-old sister in the Konleng Romas village.
A separate report, conducted by the Ministry of Interior, revealed that 226 rape crimes were divulged to law enforcement in 2014, an increase of 11 incidents from the previous year.
Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day last week, Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An spoke out against such crimes on behalf of the government.
“All offenders must be sent to court if they commit suffering against women,” she said.