Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rapists negotiate pay-offs to avoid going to court



Rapists negotiate pay-offs to avoid going to court

Rapists negotiate pay-offs to avoid going to court

Only a minority of rapes in Cambodia go to court with perpetrators often avoiding prosecution by paying off their victims’ families.

Amnesty International’s 2010 report “Breaking the Silence – Sexual Violence in Cambodia” found that due to social stigma only a small proportion of rapes were reported to police. Often those that were ended in illegal financial settlements between the victims’ families and the rapists.

Chhan Sokunthea, head of ADHOC’s women’s and children’s rights section, admitted it was common for perpetrators and victims’ families to negotiate cash settlements to avoid a court case. “The victims’ families, most of them are poor, they need the money and they don’t know about the law,” said Sokunthea.

In some cases, the police would take money from the perpetrators to convince the victim’s family to accept a cash payment, she added.

Another disincentive to pressing charges was lack of faith in the judicial system. Most families believed the court system was corrupt and they wouldn’t get a fair hearing. “The family would rather get compensation from the perpetrator’s family,” said Sokunthea.

The problem largely stems from the fact that police officers in Cambodia are poorly paid and are open to what is called “tea money”.

“The salary of the police, of the local authorities, is low and if they [are not] corrupt how can they survive and live?” said Sokunthea.

Mok Chito, chief of the Interior Ministry’s Central Justice Department, said police officers were not allowed to offer a compromise settlement between a victim’s family and an accused perpetrator.

“Police had been trying to inform villagers and NGOs to let parents know about the law and to make sure their children were not left unattended,” added Chito.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be