Some little girls have to become mothers at the age of 12. Some are even raped when they are as young as seven. The victims suffer from disorders after the horrific incidents, some have to quit school in fear or shame, or even have to move to escape slander from neighbors.
Two recent victims are from Bao Thang District of the northern Lao Cai Province -- Thao, 8 years old, and Chinh, 12.
After hours of conversations with Tuoi Tre journalists in her house, Thao gradually gained confidence and began recalling what happened to her over a year ago when she was on her way home from school.
Gripping a toy in her hand, Thao tightened her lips before suddenly uttering, “It’s a mad chap. But he is now imprisoned and he is unable to harm me again. My mother told me.”
Her voice wasn’t normal, and she gasped while her face lost its color when she talked of the incident. The man who harmed her is in his 50s and often offered Thao candies several days before seducing her.
In his house, Thao managed to scream for help for almost an hour until locals broke into the house and saved her as she lay naked on the ground.
Thao’s grandfather told Tuoi Tre that she always asks him to close the doors at night, even when he is there.
“My teachers and other adults love me and take care of me, but my friends always tease me [as the whole commune is well informed of the incident]. Whenever they tease me, I get away,” Thao said.
“Some days I went to school but they teased me a lot, and then I quit school to go home. I don’t like school anymore,” she said, while throwing the toy in her hand into a pool nearby.
Thao revealed her dream, “I wish to have a doll too much. And I want my friends to play with me and sleep with me.” Thao is now living with her grandfather, as her mother works far from home and her father has a new wife.
“I also miss my parents too much.”
The other victim, Lu Thi Chinh, 13, was abused by a neighbor who exploited her naivety and confidence. She was raped when she was 11 years old.
Unlike Thao, Chinh still goes to school, regardless of slights from unfriendly people. Despite her juvenile age, Chinh is old enough to realize that she should not harm her own life.
Yet Chinh’s mother admitted that she is saving money so that she can move her daughter to a new place to resettle their life and help her daughter escape her bad reputation. This is just a dream though, as she has no plan regarding where to actually live in the future.
Ha, 13, in Binh Phuoc Province is expecting her baby in two months (Photo: Tuoi Tre)
The tragedy of juvenile mothers
This is the story of a young girl named Mai, 12, who lives in Dong Tho Commune of the northern province of Thai Binh’s Dong Hung District.
Mai was playing with her neighbors when her mother called, “Mai, go home and take care of the baby.”
Her mother, Han, called the baby ‘younger brother’, but actually the baby is Mai’s son. And the biological father of the baby is a man who is over 60 years old – old enough to be called Mai’s grandfather.
“Mai was raped many times when I worked as an immigrant laborer in Taiwan. When I returned home, I took her to the hospital and was informed that she was 6 months pregnant,” Han recalled.
“All I could do was send her to a relative living in the South so that she could keep going to school before giving birth,” Han said.
Another young mother is Ha, from the Phu Rieng Commune of Bu Gia Map District in the southern province of Binh Phuoc. She is expecting to have her son in two months, when she will be just 13 years old.
However, she refuses to call the baby in her body her child thanks her great resentment towards the man who raped her.
“It’s not my child. It’s the child of the guy who raped me,” Ha said bluntly. “After giving birth, I will give it to a couple in Dak Lak to keep him. I couldn’t abort it, as I only discovered it when I was 6 months into the pregnancy.”
“I have no food to give the baby,” Ha said.
In a similar case juvenile mother Ngoc Nga, in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, has also developed deep resentment against the father and son pair that has raped her in six consecutive years.
Nga bore her baby when she was 14 years old. She left the baby, which she refused to call her own, for her mother.
“Sometimes I think of my parents but I don’t want to go home since I get so upset when I see the baby,” Nga said, sobbing violently.