KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Police have noticed an increase in the number of rape reports allegedly perperated upon minors by older members of their family during the various movement control order (MCO).

Bukit Aman’s principal assistant director of the sexual, women and child Investigations division Siti Kamsiah Hassan attributed the increase in reports lodged to the disclosures made by victims to a trusted relative during this period when families are forced to bunker at home.

The assistant commissioner of police told Utusan Malaysia that the proximity of family members allows them to observe behavioural changes in the children and soon after encourage them to lodge a police report.

Siti said most of the cases that have been reported were children being abused for the first time in the last five to six years.

“We had 259 reported incest cases the whole of 2020. On average since the MCO in March this is a reduction in cases.

“There are only a few states who have reported an increase in cases maybe because a lot of these kids get the courage to speak up when they’re in close proximity with most of their family members during the MCO,” Siti was quoted saying.

“Since they’re stuck at home, the victim may have inadvertently revealed to them that they were being abused.”

She added that most of the offenders are the biological fathers and the victims would have no knowledge of what sex is and were not aware what was being done to them was criminal.

They would then not want to report the crime as it involved their own family member. However once the victims become teenagers only then do they report the crime as they get more exposure in schools and can speak to their friends.

“There are cases where the mother did not realise the child was being raped and when she finds out refuses to report it for fear of losing her husband,” said Siti.

“Most of the cases that are successfully prosecuted are cases that were immediately reported.  At the same time there have been offenders stepping up and admitting guilt after they realised they were going to be exposed,” she added.

In addition, Siti said there were a total of 825 incest cases from 2018 till end of last year. The highest number of cases was in 2019 (300 cases) followed by 2018 (266) and last year’s 259.

“In that same period of time, 861 children aged six to 18 were victims of incest and the highest cases were those of teenage rapes.

“Biological fathers committing these offences were the highest at 225 individuals followed by step fathers (188), uncles (159 cases) and brothers (90 cases).”