Family is supposed to mean safety and comfort; people you can trust and rely on when things go bad. However, sometimes, it only creates openings for them to take advantage of you.
A 15-year-old girl has been cruelly let down by her brother and mother since she was five. After discovering she had been raped by her own brother, her mother chose to keep quiet and tried to cover up the matter instead. In doing so, it was discovered the girl had been raped by another.
The mother was charged yesterday (25th October) for failing to take steps to protect her daughter. She allegedly knew about her son’s assault but did nothing to stop it. By doing so, she supposedly knowingly permitted the abuse. She was also charged with withholding information regarding the offences committed against her daughter.
The brother’s case was decided last year, 30th January. According to the court hearing, he started assaulting her sexually when she was five. He was 13 then and had been watching pornography on the internet. Their mother discovered what he’d done when she found semen on the then-5-year-old’s underwear. He denied any wrong doings when questioned.
From June to September 2017, he raped her three times all while the rest of the family were asleep. At that time, he was 20 while she was only 12. When the victim discovered her menstruation was delayed in October, she told her mother. A pregnancy test and a visit to the clinic confirmed her suspicions; the 12-year-old girl was pregnant.
The mother suspected her son of being the culprit. As such, she didn’t want to bring the girl to the hospital since she was worried they would discover the truth. Instead, the mother took the girl to a clinic in Johor Bahru on 11th December, hoping to get an abortion. The doctor refused her request.
The 12-year-old girl was still attending school then, so she knew it would be impossible to hide the matter. In an attempt to avoid trouble, the mother forbid her from going to school and told the authorities she was ill. She also tried to withdraw her daughter from school, citing her illness as an excuse. However, the school refused her withdrawal and questioned the mother about the issue. Finally, she caved in and confessed that her daughter was pregnant. The matter was then reported to the police on 1st February 2018.
As the police investigated, they discovered that the child did not belong to the son. Instead, the girl was pregnant with someone else’s child. She underwent an abortion then.
The brother was sentenced to 11 and a half years of jail term and seven lashes with a cane. However, the mother’s case will be heard again in court on 15th November. For now, she has been released on a bail of S$15,000. She has also stated that she will be applying for a lawyer under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.
For knowingly allowing a child under her custody to be mistreated, the woman can be jailed for up to four years, fined up to $4000 or both. She can also be jailed for up to six months, fined, or both for intentionally withholding information regarding an offence which she is legally bound to give.
Meanwhile. on the teenager’s fate, it is understood that she will be transferred to a shelter soon for further care.