Experts: Police must be notified about sexual abuse
They are fathers only in name. Two men - a biological father and a stepfather - were sentenced to jail and caning yesterday. Both had molested their daughters. The stories below recount the girls' suffering and humiliation.
It is often very difficult for a person to inform the authorities about cases of sexual abuse that occur among family members.
But in two unrelated court cases yesterday, three women made the painful decision to report a father and a stepfather to the police for such offences.
Experts The New Paper spoke to said police reports must be made to uphold justice - no matter how painful it is.
Mr Willy Ho, who is the lead counsellor at The Counselling Paradigm, said family members who choose to ignore the problem often do more harm.
He said: "Often, acts of sexual abuse among family members, if not addressed immediately, will get worse over time.
"Victims can also feel they have been betrayed by the very people who were supposed to protect them."
Recently, for the first time, a woman was jailed for protecting a family member who had sexually abused her niece.
The 14-year-old felt helpless and tried to kill herself by drinking a bleach mixture after her uncle raped her in 2012 and her aunt covered it up. He had raped her once in 2010.
The offences came to light only in January 2013, when the school counsellor asked the girl about her lengthy absence from school.
The 55-year-old is serving 20 years' jail for rape, sexually assaulting and molesting the girl.
Last week, the aunt, a 47-year-old mother of two, was sentenced to six months' jail after pleading guilty to intentionally preventing the course of justice.
Assistant manager of Eagles Mediation and Counselling Centre David Kan said family members are often afraid to inform the police of such cases as they do not want the family unit to crumble.
He also said couples may divorce and many do not want the embarrassment of facing their other family members and friends about the matter.
Stressing that the police must be notified, Mr Kan said: "Boundaries have been seriously violated in such cases of sexual abuse.
"If couples decide to try and work things out, all those involved must go through extensive counselling.
"The damage has been done and family members must be prepared that it is very difficult for things to be like they were before."