Maldivian bloggers are expressing outrage over the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the country and the lack of firm action by the government to address the issue.
Maldives has been rocked by the news of four rapists receiving a light sentence after a judge decided that because the raped girl did not shout or scream, it meant she gave consent. Moreover the rapists were banished to another island community where they could go on preying. In another incident a girl studying at a high school alleged that her mathematics teacher sexually harassed her during a tuition session. The school administration tried to downplay the incident and the foreign teacher was allowed to leave the country before an investigation was conducted.
In a separate incident several girls from the remote island of Goidhoo alleged that their Koran teacher who is also the Imam of the island molested them. After a short investigation the Imam was allowed to return to the community.
Maldives Health blog has discussed the issue here.
This is it. Again. They have accepted it before. It has happened again. This time a twelve year old girl has been found to have “consented” for having sex with the god damn rapists. Just because she did not scream does not mean she consented. This is fu….. ridiculous. Angers me. A twelve year old girl will be so freaking terrified to utter a sound. Arrrgh…
The blog says the Maldivian government takes ‘a silent and deadly approach to child abuse in the Maldives.’
Jaa’s blog criticizes the judge’s decision that the raped girl gave consent.
I skim through Maldivian news now and then and try sink in the madness going about these days but none, absolutely none, has left me as unsettled and enraged as the news regarding the recent ruling on the case of a 12 year old girl being sexually assaulted by a group of 4 axe-wielding men.
Maldives Today in a post titled ‘Paradise for Paedophiles’ narrates the history of child sexual abuse in the Maldives and concludes that the government has a history of not bringing the perpetrators to justice and pardoning convicted paedophiles.
The blog criticizes Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the country’s dictator, for his lenient stance on abusers.
The Maldives, as a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child CRC, has been taken to task by the body for country’s deplorable child rights record. Not only has Maumoon Abdul Gayoom openly showed his support for child abusers, but he has never, in his three decades of office, introduced a single piece of legislature to protect children from sexual abuse. As a result the Maldives has seen a proliferation of paedophilia.
A survey published this year has shed more light on the prevalence of child sexual abuse in the Maldives. According to its findings, one in three woman aged 15-49 years have experienced physical or sexual abuse while one in six women reported to having been sexually abused when they were under 15 years of age. Given that the survey focused only on females, social workers have rightly commented that the actual figure for child sexual abuse may be much higher. If figures for children of both sexes are taken into account, the Maldives may very well have the highest rates of child sexual abuse in South Asia, probably even the world.
The findings of the survey have been downplayed by the minister in charge of protecting child rights, Aishath Mohamed Didi, who worked in UNICEF before she joined the dictator’s cabinet. Didi has told Minivan News that statistics for child sexual abuse in the Maldives fell within the norm of other countries.
With a dictator and a cabinet minister defending pedophiles, the bloggers of Maldives are facing a rough battle but at least in the blogosphere the silent and well-kept secret of pedophilia in the paradise is no longer a secret.