Rape on the rise in Cambodia: Amnesty

Rape on the rise in Cambodia: Amnesty

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Victims of rape suffer from stigma while perpetrators are rarely, if ever, held accountable.

By Joel Elliott — Special to GlobalPost

Published: April 16, 2010 06:49 ET
Meas Veasna. (Joel Elliott/GlobalPost)Enlarge Photo

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – For Meas Veasna, as with many survivors of sexual violence, rape brought only the beginning of the horror.

Veasna, a 20-year-old married mother of two, was allegedly raped by a monk in her home province of Prey Veng in June 2009. Her life since that time has fallen apart; because of the stigma Cambodian culture attaches to being raped, her husband’s family will not allow her to see him or her children. She has been forced to move to Phnom Penh on her own to find work. Meanwhile, the monk remains free, never having been tried in court because he refuses to appear.

All across Cambodia, this sort of impunity enables rapists and victimizes women over and over, according to a recent report from Amnesty International that found that incidents of sexual violence — especially the rape of children — have increased in recent years. Police documented 468 cases of rape, attempted rape and sexual harassment between November 2008 and November 2009, a 24-percent increase over the previous year, Amnesty reported. The portion of rapes reported to human rights organization ADHOC that involved children jumped from 67 percent in 2008 to 78 percent in 2009, and many more rapes go unreported, according to Amnesty.

Read the complete article at http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/100413/cambodia-rape

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