The alleged rape and molestation of a 10-year-old girl by her elementary schoolmates and several junior high school students at a Hsinchu City elementary school shocked the nation yesterday.
Local Chinese-language newspapers reported the girl suffered multiple sexual assaults in her school’s restroom since last November.
The girl reportedly told police that as she was being raped by a 10-year-old schoolmate surnamed Chen and a 13-year-old junior high school student surnamed Huang several of her friends stood by without acting, even though the girl screamed for help.
“I cried for help but no one saved me and they (the bystanders) acted like they didn’t know me. I feel so sad,” she is quoted as saying.
Bystanders allegedly cheered the boys on, encouraging Chen or Huang to rape the girl, and even taught the two boys how to do it, police reportedly said.
The reports also cite police as saying the girl was dragged forcibly into the restroom after playing basketball with the students.
The sexual assault incident was not reported to teachers or staff until the girl’s younger brother found his sister being bullied while playing basketball after school this January, according to media reports.
Police were quoted as saying Chen has denied he raped the girl but admitted to molesting her, and further accused five bystanders of molesting her as well. Huang reportedly claimed he did not commit any sexual assault on the girl.
The girl’s health examination report suggests that she was raped, police were reported as saying.
Chen, Huang and the five students suspected in the case were all referred to the Hsinchu District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in the sexual assault case.
Police reportedly said that it is obvious the girl needs better sex education and care because she neither reported her misfortune to teachers, nor told her family members about her suffering, and even continued to play with the boys who raped and bullied her.
According to the reports, police added that the victim and the two students who allegedly raped the girl all come from single-parent families and those in charge of taking care of them do not have enough time and energy to take good care of them because they have to earn money.
The girl, her younger sister and brother have all been cared for by their grandmother since their parents divorced, police were reported to have said, and their grandmother often has to leave home for work.
School counselors were reported to be helping the male students involved to correct their behavior and are teaching them sexual education, while the government’s social workers are engaged in helping the victim recover from the mental trauma, said Lin Tsyr-ling, secretary-general of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Violation Prevention Committee under the Ministry of the Interior.
Lin stressed that because of the incident, the committee has urged the Ministry of Education to strengthen sex education in schools and to work on teaching girls how to protect themselves.