Girl sexually abused by all four older brothers continues to suffer from anxiety attacks

Selina Lum
The Straits Times
February 5, 2024

A girl was sexually abused by all four of her older brothers over four years, when she was between eight and 12 years old.

On Feb 5, one of the brothers, who is now 20 years old, pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.

The third of the four brothers, he was 16 to 17 years old when he sexually assaulted the victim, who was then 10 to 11, in 2020.

Seven other charges will be taken into consideration during sentencing. They comprise one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration and six counts of outrage of modesty.

The other three brothers, who are now between 18 and 23 years old, are slated to plead guilty to their respective charges in the coming months.

The victim also has two younger sisters, now aged 11 and six.

Now 14, she has been separated from her family and has not seen her sisters for a year, Deputy Public Prosecutor Lim Ying Min told the court.

In the girl’s victim impact statement, she said she felt that her mother blames her for what happened.

The family lived in a flat with three bedrooms – the parents took the master bedroom, the brothers occupied another room, while the sisters shared the third.

The prosecutor said the parents set ground rules that the brothers were not to go into the girls’ room, unless it was to comb their hair as there was no mirror in the boys’ room.

The reason for the rule was that all three girls were still young, and all four brothers were already mature.

Despite this, the accused in the present case went into the girls’ room to sexually assault the victim.

On many occasions in 2020, he touched the victim sexually and violated her, even as she tried to resist his advances.

By the time he began abusing his sister, his three brothers had sexually assaulted her on at least one prior occasion.

He knew that his two older brothers were sexually assaulting the victim but decided to “keep quiet”.

During the four years of abuse, from 2018 to February 2022, the victim did not dare to tell anyone about the incidents.

DPP Lim said: “She would feel stressed and sad, but would just pretend to be happy by putting on a fake smile.”

On Feb 10, 2022, the victim finally found the courage to tell the authorities in her school about the abuse. This led to the Ministry of Social and Family Development being alerted, which in turn led to the lodging of a police report.

The prosecutor said the victim felt bad for reporting her brothers and also blamed herself for not stopping her brothers when they sexually assaulted her.

The DPP sought eight to nine years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for the third brother, highlighting that the victim continues to suffer from anxiety attacks.

Defence counsel Ashvin Hariharan urged the judge to call for a report to assess if the accused was suitable for reformative training.

Reformative training is a regime where young offenders are detained at a centre for at least six months or at least a year, and put through rehabilitation programmes.

The case was adjourned to Feb 23.

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.