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The year-old girl had spent the past seven days in a hospital in Kompong Thom town, recovering from a vicious attack by three young men whom district police say have yet to be arrested. Kompong Thom appears to have one of the highest rates of rape incidents in the country, local human rights officials said, though accurate statistics are difficult to determine since many sex offenses go unreported.
She and her year-old sister had set off on their own to find work and escape the hardships of home. Once they left home, however, the girl and her sister were separated shortly after arriving in Kompong Thom. Late that Tuesday night, the girl went out along the riverbank in search for food and money. It was there that she was attacked, rights workers said.
Licadho receives about 10 to 15 reports of rape per month from 12 different provinces, an Adhoc official said. He said that areas outside the main town are so remote, villagers and police are ill-informed about laws. Last year, human rights officials reported that only 12 percent of reported rapes are brought to trial, and only 7 percent of those result in convictions. The Licadho official said that poor implementation of the law is a widespread problem, not limited to Kompong Thom.
The offenders are no longer in the district, the police chief said. And not only is legal retribution lacking for rape victims, so, too, is government support, Hor Neath said. All rights reserved No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.
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