Another child rape case in Myanmar highlights endemic problem

Justice for Victoria banner, calling for justice in the child rape case that has shocked Myanmar via Justice for Victoria Facebook page.
Justice for Victoria banner, calling for justice in the child rape case that has shocked Myanmar via Justice for Victoria Facebook page.

With public furor over child sexual abuse still at a fever pitch after the recent #JusticeforVictoria street marches, yet another rape case has been thrust into the national spotlight.

On Monday, a 5-year-old girl in Irrawaddy state’s San Lin Daung village was allegedly sexually assaulted by a 15-year-old boy at her kindergarten. 

In an interview with Eleven Media yesterday, an officer from Ma-ubin, a town near the village, said the assault took place at lunch time, when the teenager arrived to deliver lunch to his sisters.

The boy, who lives in the village, allegedly confessed to police officers that he had lured her behind the school, where he then assaulted her.

“The boy came to the school to deliver lunches for his two sisters who were attending the 2nd grade. He offered to buy the girl snacks, then took her away to the back of the school. We have arrested him, but we need to consult with the courts because he is also a minor,” Htun Shwe, a spokesperson for the Irrawaddy state police office told the Irrawaddy.

Authorities were notified of the incident after the 5-year-old told her mother she was experiencing pain near her groin, leading to the discovery of signs of assault.

The Ma-ubin police station is pursuing charges under section 376 of the Myanmar penal code.

The alleged teen assailant faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

This case come on the heels of a high-profile child rape case in Naypyidaw, in which a 2-year-old was sexually assaulted on the premises of a kindergarten, sparking outrage on social media and protests across the nation. Myanmar’s leaders took notice of the case after their social media accounts were flooded with thousands of messages from netizens calling for accountability and justice. 

Thousands poured into the streets in multiple cities across Myanmar over the past week demanding #JusticeforVictoria in a nation where child rape cases make up over 60% of reported rape cases in 2016, according to officials in parliament. 

Victoria ေလးအတြက္ ေထာင္ႏွင့္ခ်ီသည့္ မႏၱေလးေဒသခံမ်ားကဆႏၵေဖာ္ထုတ္ Photo – Min Sitt Naing / MPAVictoria ေလးအတြက္…

Myanmar Pressphoto Agency 发布于 2019年7月7日周日

Read more stories from around the city at Coconuts.co/Yangon.

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