Female Senators Say Men Share Blame in Acid Attacks

The government should punish adulterous spouses and do a better job teaching morality to its young, a group of female senators concluded this week.

Senator Seung Oeum, chairman of the Senate’s social, labor, health and women’s affairs commission, said the conclusions came after nine female senators spent two hours Tuesday discus­sing adultery and its role in spur­ring jealous spouses to violence.

The talks were called after an acid attack earlier this month allegedly involving the wife of a senior government official.

The group also suggested curb­ing pornography and cal­led on people to uphold Khmer traditions of marriage. “Our existing traditions [say] there must be one-to-one love bet­ween husband and wife. And don’t practice adultery,” Seung Oeum said.

Senator Men Maly, a participant at the meeting, said the discussion did not focus solely on the recent high-profile acid at­tack, but also on the increasing use of acid by jealous spouses, both male and female. Officials at Kos­samak Hospital in Phnom Penh have reported an increase in acid attacks since the highly-publicized incident Dec 6.

Men Maly said that tough action by the government is needed, such as demoting high-ranking officials who are found to be cheating on their partners.

“We can’t put all the blame on women alone as their husbands also share some of the fault because they have betrayed their spouse. So we must find an alternative solution to the problem,” said Men Maly. She added that a seminar to further discuss the issue will be organized.


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