One hundred and sixty-seven children were raped in the first six months of the year, a number comprising 68 percent of all rapes during that period, according to figures released yesterday by the local rights group Adhoc.
A total of 246 people were raped in Cambodia during that period. The Cambodia Daily has reported on eight child rapes since the beginning of July. In 2009, 460 people were raped and 366 of them were children, according to Adhoc statistics.
Sawada Chan Krisna, head of the women and children rights program at the local rights group Adhoc, said rape numbers would be lower if police implemented the law more consistently.
“Law enforcement should do their mission and their work to track down and arrest those who committed the crime,” she said, adding that those perpetrators must be prosecuted aggressively.
Too often rapists are freed after reaching compensation deals brokered by police, she said.
The Interior Ministry has consistently denied that police broker such deals and defended police actions in rape cases.
Also yesterday, police in Battambang province’s Kamrieng district arrested a 46-year-old for allegedly raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter several times this year, deputy district police chief Srey Vuthy said.
The victim informed her mother of the crime yesterday morning, and the two contacted police to file a complaint, the deputy chief said.
“The suspect warned that he would kill her if she told this story to someone. The victim reported to police her stepfather committed this many times, but the suspect denied that, saying it only happened three times,” he said.
Mr Vuthy denied that police brokered compensation deals.
“Mostly the police work very hard to make an arrest of the suspects in the rape cases,” he said.
In a separate case, Kandal Provincial Court charged a 23-year-old man yesterday with attempted rape for allegedly attacking his 12-year-old neighbor.
“At around 10:15 pm, the victim was sleeping with her mother in bed under their home when the victim attempted the assault,” said Chea Thol, Lvea Em district police chief.
The suspect allegedly removed the victim’s shorts but she screamed and alerted neighbors, he said.
(Additional reporting by Tim Sturrock)