When people find that the authorities cannot prevent crimes, they seek the assistance of unseen gods. The burning problem in the Northern Province today is the escalation of sexual offences against schoolgirls. The number of schoolgirls who become victims of sexual offences is increasing daily.
Another sexual offence was committed on a 13-year-old girl in the Achchelu area of Achchuveli, Jaffna recently. The girl had been be-friended by a youngster in the same area by giving her sweets at a shop where he was employed. The 27-year-old suspect was taken into custody by the Achchuveli Police for molesting the schoolgirl.
Abisha (not her real name) is a studious and talented girl who did her studies and extra-curricular activities well. At times she engaged in religious activities. By performing rituals at the kovil she became self-confident. At the kovil she invoked the blessings of gods on her studies and the family. Her parents also encouraged her religious activities and allowed her to attend the daily rituals at the kovil. Thus Abisha became a familiar figure to the people who attended the kovil daily for worship.
Abisha loved sweets and was in the habit of buying them on her way home, at a shop near the kovil. When Abisha went to the shop regularly, she became friendly with the youth who sold sweets. He used to give her sweets sometimes even without accepting payment. She would coyly take them from him and promises to pay back whenever she gets money. In reply, the youth said the sweets were given to her as a token of friendship and he did not expect money from her.
Whenever Abisha went to the kovil, she did not fail to visit the shop. The youth, as usual, refused to accept any money from her lest it would damage their friendship.
One day the youth invited Abisha into the shop to offer her something to drink. She was offered soft drinks and sweets inside the shop and was treated warmly. Then the youth closed the shop and sat beside Abisha dragging her for a casual talk. She was worried because the youth would lose business by closing the shop. He consoled her by saying that having to spend time with her was more important than keeping the shop open and selling sweets.
While Abisha was eating the sweets, the youth put his hand over her shoulder and caressed her. At once she got up in astonishment. Then the youth told her that he would do no harm to her. He took her hand and promised to be her lover. However, he enticed her to have sex with him. Abisha, having no option, gave in to him.
The incident took place on her way home after attending the kovil. Thereafter, the youth used to wait for her with sweets and soft drinks seeking to continue with their illicit relationship.
Unknown to Abisha, the people who went to the kovil had noticed that the shop remained closed whenever she entered it. They felt that something unusual was taking place in the shop. They informed the Children’s Rehabilitation Officer of the area about the incident.
The police also noticed that whenever Abisha entered the shop it remained closed. Then the police apprehended the youth.
Sweets and soft drinks
Abisha told the police that the 27-year-old youth had sexually abused her on four days consecutively after offering her sweets and soft drinks. She has admitted that she complied with the youth’s request to have sex for the love of sweets. That was the only way that she could have sweets and soft drinks on a daily basis without having to pay for them. Meanwhile, the medical report too confirmed that the girl has had sexual relationship.
Mother is the best guardian any daughter could have.
Daughters are always safe in the custody of their mother. She can hardly be replaced by any other person. Nevertheless, there have been many incidents where mothers have acted differently. For instance, in an unusual incident reported from Kalutara, a mother had virtually forgotten her primary duties.
Amaya’s (not her real name) father left the family long ago due to her mother’s disreputable character. She was known to be such a bad character even before her marriage. Even Amaya’s father’s parents had objected to his marriage to a notorious woman. However, Amaya’s father turned a deaf ear to all such rumours and married her. Amaya’s father married her mother secretly because he had a fiancée. After marriage, however, he started a new life with his wife.
Soon Amaya’s father came to know of his wife’s many extra-marital affairs. However, he stood by his wife despite such allegations. Amaya’s mother was under the impression that he would support him despite her disreputable activities.
Time passed and new members were added to the family. Although Amaya’s father worked hard to support his family, his wife never appreciated his work. She always yearned for more money. She quarrelled with him very often saying that she could earn double the amount he earned.
Then she embarked on the world’s oldest profession and told her husband that it was the only way to earn more money and lead a luxurious life. Many squabbles took place between them. Amaya’s mother, who was well off at the time, chased her husband away. He asked for his daughter’s custody, but she flatly refused to do so with some ulterior motives.
When Amaya’s mother was aging, she began to lose her income drastically. She was worried over the fact that she could not earn as she used to do during her heyday. Then, as she had planned previously, she engaged her own daughter in prostitution. Amaya was just 13 when she was sold to men to satisfy their sexual needs. Amaya refused to do what her mother wanted, but finally she had no choice.
Although Amaya was sent to school, she had no interest in studies. She wanted to get out of the miserable life she was leading. At the time awareness campaigns on safety measures for girls against sexual violence were being carried out at the schools in the Kalutara District. The programme was conducted by the Children’s and Women’s Bureau of the Kalutara Police. Amaya too participated in the seminar. She was highly impressed by the programme. Amaya told the female officer who conducted the programme how her mother forced her to engage in prostitution. According to the medical report, she had been sexually abused at the age of 14.
Kalutara Police arrested the mother and are conducting investigations.
Many a shocking incidents of gang-rape of schoolgirls were reported during the past few weeks. An incident took place in Puttalam.
Farista (not her real name) lived at Kalladi in Puttalam. The 17-year-old girl used to meet her boyfriend regularly on her way back home from computer classes in Puttalam. On 5 May, the boyfriend informed her that he would like to meet her after classes. Farista waited at the bus halt till her lover arrived. Her 24-year-old lover arrived on a motor bicycle to pick her up. While riding, he said that he wanted to spend some time with her and sought her consent to go to a coconut grove at Sevvanthivu, a few kilometres away from the town. Farista agreed as she too needed to feel the warmth of her lover.
Farista’s lover took her to an isolated coconut grove. She had no fear as her lover was beside her. The couple sat under a coconut tree and began to make love. Time passed by without their knowledge. When dusk began to fall, Farista reminded her lover that it was time for her to get back home. Farista’s lover caressed her once more before leaving the place.
Surprisingly, two boys came out of a bush nearby. They looked at the couple derisively. Farista hid her face behind her lover’s back out of fear. The two youths had videoed Farista and her lover while they were having sex. Then they began to intimidate the couple saying that they would upload the video on the internet. Farista’s lover argued with them and tried to grab their mobile phone but to no avail. The two boys continued to intimidate the couple.
Out of fear and shame Farista’s burst into tears. She held her lover’s hand tightly. The two boys demanded to have sex with her. If she was agreeable, they said, they would delete what they had videoed. Out of fear and shame, Farista’s lover fled the scene leaving her to the two boys. Despite her protests, they abused her sexually until she fell unconscious.
Farista managed to come out of the coconut grove after she regained consciousness. She reached home with great difficulty. When she told her parents what had happened, she was rushed to the Puttalam Base Hospital.
Farista told the Police that she had been ravished many times by the two unknown boys who intimidated her and threatened to release the video on the internet.
Police arrested Farista’s boyfriend for the sexual molestation of a minor and the other two who are aged 19 and 22 were also nabbed and charged with the same offence.