Teenage girl raped by 21 men, undergoes counselling

A 13-year-old girl from Walenrang district, Luwu regency, South Sulawesi, is psychologically unstable after being raped by 21 men in two separate locations and at different times.

"The victim is afraid to meet new people. When we came to see her yesterday [Monday], she was afraid to meet us. After we explained our identities, she agreed to meet us," said Andi Fatmawati Syam, the head of the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) division at Luwu administration, on Tuesday.

Not only is she terrified to meet new people, Fatmawati said the girl had become reserved and sensitive, especially if asked to discuss the ordeal to which she had been subjected.

"She spoke very little. Each time we touched on the tragic incident, her eyes suddenly welled with tears. We could not bring ourselves to look at that terrible condition," she said.

Fatmawati said the PPPA Luwu was providing the victim both legal assistance and counseling to help her overcome the ordeal.

The girl, a first grader at a junior high school in Luwu, was raped by 21 men aged 13 to 30 years. Fourteen suspects were arrested last week while seven others remain at large.

"We have obtained the identities of the seven perpetrators. We are sure they can be immediately arrested," said Luwu Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ahmad Yanuari Insan on Tuesday.

He said the girl was raped during Ramadhan in June, but the case had been reported to the police only on Oct 11.