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Ten-year-old reports incest-rape

Ten-year-old reports incest-rape

RIGHTS officials said yesterday that they have begun investigations in Svay Rieng province after a 10-year-old girl said she was raped by her uncle, brother, and cousin more than 10 times over the course of two months.

Yi Chandara, provincial case manager for Cosecam, a coalition of NGOs working to combat sexual exploitation of children, said yesterday that an investigation had been launched after the victim reported the abuse to a military official whom she met by chance on Monday.

“The girl told us that three people raped her many times, but she did not know who to tell,” he said.
He said that the military official had taken the girl to the provincial Department of Social Affairs, who had placed her in a local shelter pending more inquiries.

Va Saren, director of the department, said that the girl had been sent to hospital for a medical examination, and that an initial examination had not shown any evidence of rape.

“We suspect that she was just the victim of indecent acts,” he said, and added that he was waiting for the results of further tests before deciding how to proceed with the case.

“If we find out she was really raped, then we will file the complaint to the court in order to get an arrest warrant for the offenders,” he said.

Provincial police chief Prach Rim could not be reached for comment yesterday, nor could members of the girl’s family.

Mom Lida, provincial monitor for rights group Licadho, said yesterday that rape cases in the province appeared to be on the rise.

“I think it is because people lack knowledge of how to protect themselves, and because of [the influence of] sex videos,” he said.

He added that victims of abuse often did not know how to seek help.

“Government officials do not broadcast enough information to them to find legal aid when they have a problem,” he said.

Yi Chandara said that his organisation had recorded 13 rape cases in the province so far this year. The victims of the crimes were aged between five and 21, he said.

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