Singapore President Halimah Yacob said in a Facebook post that she finds the recent spate of cases where children were raped at home by their male relatives, very disturbing and sickening.
She said that it is “our duty to protect our young and we must not fail them”, and added that “rapists should not be spared the cane just because they are fifty years old.”
Here is what she said
I find the recent spate of cases involving rapes of children in their own homes by their male relatives highly disturbing and sickening. We need to better protect our children from such predators. Severe punishments for convicted offenders are important but not sufficient by itself. We need to look at other ways to help our children and stop them from falling prey to such rapists. I worry that there could be many more unreported cases. I can’t even begin to imagine how much pain and damage these young victims had to suffer.
The reported cases follow a certain pattern.
The victims had been groomed by the predators who were either their fathers, stepfathers or other male relatives from a very young age so that they thought that the sickening acts committed against them, for years in some cases, were normal.
Quite a number of the victims only discovered that such acts were wrong when they attended education classes much later in school. The predators had preyed on their innocence to persuade the victims that the perversion was alright.
Some victims were reluctant to complain about the rapes for fear of breaking up the family or losing the main breadwinner. Others were threatened and intimidated into silence.
Imagine the terror and vulnerability of a child stuck in a home that’s supposed to be a sanctuary but became a living hell instead.
We have organisations that deal with domestic violence such as PAVE which are doing good work. I hope that together with the relevant government agencies they could look at ways to better protect our children in the home.
Also, rapists should not be spared the cane just because they are fifty years old. It’s ironic that they could escape from the pain caused by caning despite the lifetime of severe trauma and irreparable damage that they cruelly inflicted on their victims which will last a lifetime. In some cases, the rapes were committed earlier but reported only after the perpetrator reached fifty years old. It’s timely that we review this law.
It’s our duty to protect our young and we must not fail them.