Silent scars of childhood sexual abuse

23 May 2024 01:24pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

SHAH ALAM - A 10-year-old girl who is asked to sit on the lap of her 20-year-old male cousin facing each other is beyond the limit, especially if it is done in a car without others noticing.

This was what one Nurul went through.

It was even more shocking when her cousin Aiman had touched her private parts.

However, she kept her mouth shut because Aiman had threatened her.

She said Aiman had also committed indecent acts on her when they were inside the house.

"One day, our family returned to our hometown in Kedah because there was a wedding ceremony, so Aiman came along.

"At that time, my mother was sleeping in the front seat, while my father was focusing driving. Aiman and I sat together in the back seat. That's when he asked me to sit on his lap," she said.

Aiman's actions could be sensed by Nurul's mother, who woke up from her sleep when they made a stop at a Rest and Treatment (R&R) area.

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"My mother knew something was wrong because she looked at the back and saw us sitting in a strange position.

"Aiman did not admit to committing sexual molestation despite being asked by his mother.

"When we arrived at our hometown that night, we all kept quiet about the matter as we did not want to spoil the ceremony," she said.

It was only a few weeks later that Nurul's father lodged a police report.

"Initially, my father did not want to deal with the matter because Aiman is his sister's son, but after being pressured many times by my mother, my father finally lodged a police report until the suspect was arrested," she added.

She said Aiman was then brought to court, found guilty and sentenced to 10 years jail.

Meanwhile, Thanusa faced even darker moments.

Her father's heinous act was finally revealed after two years.

She was nine years old at that time and complained about pain in her private part to her mother.

Before this, no one suspected that her father who was a grass cutter was the perpetrator.

"I still remember my father forcing me to go to work with him and I was taken to the men's toilet supposedly to accompany him, but instead I was forced to fulfill his sexual desire.

"My father always touched me when I was a child, but I didn't think it would go as far as rape," she said.

However, Thanusha did not tell her mother about it immediately following the sudden death of her sister.

"After I was raped, I wanted to tell my mother, but my disabled sister died.

"I became sad because the case was kept quiet for a while to respect my sister's passing," she said.

Thanusha added that her mother lodged a police report quietly so that her father would not find out after taking care of her sister's affairs.

"During the trial in court, our family was informed that it was my father who had killed my younger sister.

"Only God knows how broken my mother's heart was after finding out the truth," she said, adding that her father was found guilty and sentenced to prison.