GEORGE TOWN: Girls aged between 12 and 16 make up a large portion of rape victims in Penang, although the percentage of cases showed a drop each year.
Penang police deputy chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan said statistics revealed that between 65 and 75 per cent of the victims were aged below 18, and most were still schooling.
Of this percentage, 50 to 70 per cent of victims were aged between 12 and 16.
He said statistics also showed that of the rape cases investigated, only 10 to 14 per cent of the suspects involved those who were complete strangers to the victims.
“This means that almost 90 per cent of rapists were known to the victims. Investigations showed that the suspects were those in the victim’s circle such as family members, boyfriends or acquaintances.
“Studies showed that more often than not, a victim’s boyfriend was involved in such cases. Every year, this group is the highest contributor, with between 35 and 47 per cent of the overall number of cases,” he said in an opening speech at a seminar, ‘Teenagers and Free Sex: Effect and Consequences’ here today.
The one-day seminar was organised by the Penang police’s Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division or D11, with assistance from Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences and the Penang Education Department.
It was attended by policemen, teachers, students, university students and civil servants.
The seminar aims to give awareness to teenagers on the effects of free sex, educate them to stay away from free sex and expose the community on the importance of having the skill to approach and teach teenagers.
Thaiveegan said statistics from 2010 to last month showed a drop in rape cases by 146 cases in 2010, 2011 (142), 2012 (121), 2013 (116) and 62 cases from January to August this year.
He said increasing awareness among teenagers on the issue had contributed to a reduction in rape cases in the state, in addition to teachers and parents who had played an important role in emphasising on religious education.
“Despite the drop, there are still rape cases and this worries us. Therefore, we need to continue addressing the matter. We will always prioritise the education of teens and women.
“After this, we might have a seminar, specifically for men, so that they respect and appreciate women more,” he said.
Thaiveegan said between January and August this year, the breakdown of cases according to race showed Malays as the highest victims at 38, followed by Chinese (nine), other races (eight) and Indian (seven).
Meanwhile, teacher counsellor Norniza Kader Mydin, 35, said technological development and the use of mobile phones had led teenagers to unhealthy culture.