Tuesday, May 20, 2008

  • Tuesday, May 20, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Saudi-based Arab News describes a truly horrific story, where a family kicked their young mentally handicapped daughter for reasons of "honor," leaving her homeless - and then raped a year later.

And they still won't help her:
Neighbors of Maryam, an 18-year-old girl who was raped in a pedestrian tunnel here recently, are claiming that her family will not take her back because of the stigma associated with victims of sex crimes. Maryam’s family would not speak to Arab News.

Meanwhile, local police claim they have no cause to investigate the crime or find the perpetrators unless they receive complaints from the victim or her family.

“We cannot do anything about the alleged sexual assault that she suffered so long as we do not receive a formal complaint from her or her relatives,” Makkah police spokesman Maj. Abdul Mohsen Al-Mayman told Arab News yesterday.

Maryam was admitted to the King Abdul Aziz Hospital a few days ago for treatment of trauma resulting from sexual assault. She is currently under the custody of local health officials. A doctor at the hospital confirmed that the young woman was undergoing treatment at the hospital and that she is thought to be suffering from mental problems.

“As we cannot keep her in the hospital any longer, we plan to send her to the Taif Mental Health Hospital or hand her over to the Social Care Department. Her case is compounded because she has developed some mental disturbances besides being mentally retarded,” the doctor said, pointing out that the hospital has only eight beds for women patients who are on long-term care.

According to one neighbor, who did not want to be named, the family kicked the girl out 18 months ago on suspicion of being involved with a boy.

Since then, locals say she has been homeless and has showed signs of mental problems.

Describing the case of Maryam as not uncommon, the doctor appealed to charitable organizations to make sufficient shelters for homeless women like her.

With "honor killings" the torture ends. Maryam can only look forward to more abuse.

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