Kimberley - The members of a Hartswater family are outraged after the local police apparently turned them away when they tried to report a rape case, while the teenage victim attempted to commit suicide.
The mother of the 19-year-old victim said that her daughter was raped allegedly by the boyfriend of a family member on Friday last week.
She said that the police told them that there was nothing they could do when they tried to report the matter on Tuesday this week.
The teenager has since been admitted to Kimberley Hospital Complex but has been sedated after she apparently tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of tablets.
The mother said that her daughter was in tears when she tried to tell her what had happened.
“My daughter told me on Tuesday that she was raped. I know she was out for the weekend with her cousins. It seems like they were drinking, and she does not drink. She said that her cousins took her to her aunt’s house. When she woke up on Sunday morning she was totally naked and was aware that somebody had violated her.
“My daughter told me that her aunt’s boyfriend was the only person inside the house when she woke up. She got dressed and asked where her aunt was and the man told her that she (the aunt) had gone to play cards. She searched for her shoes and the man helped her to look. He then suddenly told her that she should not tell anyone about what had happened and that he would hurt if she did. She then realised that he had raped her.”
The mother said that she could see her daughter was not herself when she returned home on Sunday.
“I could see on her face that something was not right but I thought maybe it was because they were up late. It did not click to me that something might be wrong. My husband came home and scolded her about the drinking.”
She said the child slept at her grandparents’ house on Monday night.
“I called her on Monday to check how she was doing. She told me on the phone that she had something to tell me but did not want to speak over the phone.
“She told me about the incident and I went to tell my husband who was at work. When my husband returned we all went to the cousins and asked what had happened. The one cousin said they had decided to take my daughter to their house as she had passed out.”
The mother said that while they were talking, her daughter got up and went to the bedroom. She said they were under the impression that her daughter had gone to the room to cry.
“We later found out that she had taken some pills. At that stage she was still conscious and my husband said we must report the matter to the police immediately. On the way to the police station my daughter passed out. My husband rushed her to hospital and told me to report the matter at the police station.”
According to the mother, she was shocked when she was told that the matter could not be reported as it had happened on the weekend.
“The police told me that they could not open a case as my daughter claimed the incident had happened over the weekend and she had already taken a bath. They told me to get a doctor’s report first and bring it with to open the case.
“I left the police station totally flabbergasted as I was always under the impression that rape cases were prioritised, but I guess I was wrong.”
She added that they had still not opened a criminal case.
“We had to rush my daughter to hospital as she had lost consciousness. The doctors at the local hospital could not determine what was wrong and they referred her to Kimberley Hospital. She has been in a deep sleep since she was admitted on Tuesday.
“She has been displaying aggressive behaviour in her sleep. Her aggression is of such an extent that the nursing staff had to tie her to the bed as she is fighting and biting herself. She shouts the man’s name as if she is fighting him off.
“The doctors told us that she took a mixture of high blood pressure tablets, epilepsy tablets and sleeping tablets. She has not woken up since she got to the hospital.”
The mother said that what made the incident even more tragic was the fact that the alleged perpetrator was walking free.
“The man who did this to my daughter is on the run and the police are doing nothing to catch him. He has ruined my child’s life yet he is free. This is so unfair. My child will have to live with this for the rest of her life.”
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba, said that they were investigating the allegations.
“The matter was brought under the attention of the police management in the Province and it is viewed in a serious light. An investigation has been launched and appropriate steps will be taken in due course,” Ramatseba said.