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Friday, January 11, 2013

AsiaOne: Dad raped daughter over seven years by Bryna Sim

News @ AsiaOne
Dad raped daughter over seven years
She was just 10 when her father first raped her in their flat; he also raped her at parks and even by a canal. -TNP
by Bryna Sim
Mon, Aug 15, 2011 The New Paper, Singapore

What her father did to her made her feel like "an animal".

They were horrible, disgusting acts that fathers would not contemplate happening to their daughters, let alone inflict on them.

She was just 10 when her father showed his true colours as the worst kind of sexual predator - one who preys on his own flesh and blood.

It was the first of many rapes over the next seven years, and she lived in dread of being left alone with her monster dad. In time, any love she had for him turned to hate as she suffered his attacks in silence.

It was only in March last year that his heinous acts finally came to light, ironically after the girl's mother had scolded her for behaving like a prostitute with some male schoolmates.

The girl was so upset by this that she wrote a note to her mother that led to the unravelling of her father's crimes.

Yesterday, the father, 44, was jailed for 24 years and given the maximum 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to his rape and sodomy offences.

The electrical repairman showed no emotion as he fiddled with an inhaler in his hands when the sentence was read out to him.

He cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, who's now 18.

In July last year, when a psychiatrist examined the girl, she said that "she felt that the father treated her as an animal".

In her victim impact statement, the girl said: "I believed that the offender does not treat me like his own daughter and his behaviour is just like an animal."

She described feeling "dirty" and "disgusted" and that the "dirt" could not be removed even after bathing.

She added that she "hates" her father for all the misery he made her go through.

"I am unsure if I can bring myself to forgive him for what he had done to me. But definitely, I will not forget the abuse. To me, what the offender did was a great sinful mistake that cannot be forgotten and forgiven so easily," she said.

Psychologists and counsellors contacted by The New Paper agreed that recovery for such victims would be a long and tough process.

The girl's nightmare began in 2003, when she was alone in their flat with her father. Telling her that she looked dirty and sloppy, he asked her to remove her clothes so that he could bathe her.

The girl removed her top, and her father removed her underwear. Using a small towel, he cleaned her armpit and crotch.

As he did so, he became sexually aroused and raped her. After the act, he bathed her, wiped her dry and changed her.

Later that year, he forced himself on her again and sodomised her. The girl cried out that it was painful.

He then got up and told her not to tell anyone what had happened, and promised not to do it again. This attack left the victim in tears.

Two more rapes took place over the next two years in the family flat.

But from 2006 onwards, the father would sometimes commit the perverse acts at parks and even by a canal.

To no avail

During one occasion in March 2006, she pushed her father's hand away when he touched her private parts. But it was to no avail.

After another attack in September 2007, when she was 14, she cried and asked her father why he raped her. He said he did so because of her indecent dressing and behaviour.

She asked him to promise her not to rape her again. He agreed and told her he regretted what he had done.

But it was a lie. The attacks continued until March 26 last year.

The court heard that the girl's housewife mother, 38, had wanted to visit the girl's grandmother that morning.

When the girl, then 16, overheard this, she asked to go along.

But her father told her to stay home to clean the house first. His wife agreed.

After asking two of his sons to go out of the flat, the father asked the girl to wash the toilet.

This was about noon.

As she poured cleaning liquid on the toilet floor, he followed her into the toilet and said that he wanted to wash it with her.

He proceeded to brush the toilet floor. But soon after, he closed the door, put the brush aside and raped her.

After the act, the girl went to her grandmother's flat and returned home at about 4pm.

She went to the void deck two hours later and chatted with some male school friends.

When her mother found out about this, she went down to the void deck and scolded and slapped her daughter for mixing with male company.

She took her daughter home and hit her with a belt. She told her daughter that she was a "prostitute". The girl was crying by this time.

She then wrote a note on a sheet from an exercise book and asked her mother to read it.

Referring to herself in the third person, she wrote: "Mum, (I) want to tell Mum something.
 This is also about (my) future. (I) do not want to live like this. (I am) suffering and all. Now is the time for (me) to tell Mum but (I am) scared. You can call me a prostitute. But Mum you don't know about Dad."

The girl initially refused to tell the mother what she meant in her note. But when the mother threatened to commit suicide, the truth finally came out.

The girl told her mother that her father had raped her.

Shocked, the mother contacted the girl's grandmother and told her what had happened. They then took the girl to a police station the next day to lodge a report.

The man was arrested in his home on March 28.

No family members or friends were present in court yesterday when he was sentenced.

Before he was sentenced, he asked for leniency and mumbled sheepishly: "I don't know what else to say."

He had asked a friend while he was in remand to pen a letter for him, but its contents were not discussed in court.

Rape by dad more traumatic than by stranger

Rapes between fathers and daughters are rare, psychologists and counsellors told The New Paper.

This is because a parent-child relationship is meant to be about love, care and protection.

"Those feelings should be the strongest," said Ms Silvia Fontanella, a psychologist at the VA Psychology Centre.

But in this case, the father's impulses took over and he saw his daughter as "something that is sexual", she said.

Agreeing that such behaviour by a father was "not normal", psychologist Daniel Koh of Insights Mind Centre said it "can't be assumed" that all parents love their children.

"Not all homes are 'home sweet home'," he said.

He added that being raped by a father is a lot more traumatic than being raped by a stranger, because a father is supposed to be someone who daughters can trust.

But for this girl, that trust was broken.

She might have to face him in the future, and every Father's Day would be a reminder to her of his misdeeds.

Implications great

Said senior counsellor Harry Low: "What would there be for the girl to celebrate? The impact and implications of what the father did are great."

Added Mr Koh: "The girl's whole world is gone. It needs to be rebuilt."

He said the girl might blame herself and consider herself "not normal any more".

Ms Fontanella also said the girl might have trouble with her body image, self-esteem and relationships with other men as a result of what happened.

All of them felt the girl needs professional help to come to terms with what happened and to learn to let go.

Said Mr Koh: "She needs to know that her feelings are part of a normal process, and that she has avenues to turn to and is not alone."

Ms Fontanella said the mother has a big role to play in helping the girl not to feel embarrassed or ashamed.

The mother ought to be supportive and not judgemental, she said.

Even so, all three professionals say the recovery and restoration process could take years.

This article was first published in The New Paper.
[The body heals as after a fight, surgery or other violence but it's the emotional along with the psychological that many never heal. His words and her mothers hurt her more, in the long run, than the physical acts. And why do we call them "acts"? It's never a fight act, or stabbing act, just a sexual act._NS]
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