Police have arrested four men on accusations of attempting to sexually assault a 15 year-old girl on Nolhivaramfaru in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.
According to Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam, the girl was attacked by the four men on Sunday night. The girl escaped the attempted assault with no injuries, he said.
Local news outlet Sun reported that the girl was attacked while “out on a date with her boyfriend” around midnight. The pair tried to escape but the girl was caught by the group and threatened with a knife to perform sexual acts.
The girl reportedly escaped from the clutches of her attackers while they were taking her to an isolated location in the island’s jungle.
This year has seen increasing reports of sexual assaults on women and children, including gang rapes.
In October, police arrested two men and a minor on suspicion of raping an Indian nurse working in the island of Gulhi in Kaafu Atoll.
In another attack in September, group of five men including the chairman of an anti-drug NGO allegedly drugged and raped a 15 year old girl on the island of Guraidhoo in Kaafu Atoll.
In August police also arrested five men on the island of Innamaadhoo in Raa Atoll for allegedly raping a 16 year-old girl
A another group of five were arrested on suspicion of gang raping an 18 year-old girl on Maabaidhoo in Laamu Atoll.
The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) and the Department of Gender and Family Protection Services had earlier strongly condemned the recent “atrocities” of sexual violence against minors, women and persons with special needs.
In an earlier press release , HRCM noted that the prevalence of sexual violence against the most vulnerable members of society, such as the elderly, under-age children and the disabled has “reached worrying levels.”
“We call on the government, state institutions, political parties, civil society organisations and all citizens to work together with renewed courage to stop such inhumane actions, save the community and establish a secure environment,” reads the HRCM statement.
According to Sub-Inspector Shiyam, police investigations have revealed a similar trend in most of the sexual assault cases.
Shiyam said that the girls are were attacked after being “lured by their boyfriends or friends to an isolated location at late hours”. In some cases girls were “lucky enough” to escape from the perpetrators, although in a few cases they were gang raped, he added.
He urged parents to be “more responsible with their children” adding that it is not advisable to let girls hang around outside with their boyfriends at late hours.