A teenager who was allegedly raped by a relative of a senior ruling party lawmaker was offered hush money by her attacker, who claimed he had assaulted other young women.
The 18-year-old told the Maldives Independent she was raped in the capital on Wednesday night and that she had reported the incident in detail to the police.
“He said he’ll give me MVR16,000 (US$1,034) to shut up,” she said, describing how he pinned her down and attacked her despite kicking, crying and pleading for him to stop.
“He said, ‘It’s OK if you report this to the police nothing will happen to me,’” the young woman added.
“He’s done this to other girls apparently, so far I think they’ve been silent but I’m not going to be. Rape culture is too big here and that needs to change.”
She went to hospital for a sexual assault forensic examination and her underwear was taken as evidence by a Family and Child Protection Department agent who had been with her during the examination.
The Maldives Independent knows the identity of the alleged attacker, but will not reveal it because of the 2016 Defamation and Freedom of Speech Act.
Police were asked if a rape had been reported Wednesday night, if the location of the alleged attack was the one given by the young woman to a Maldives Independent reporter and to confirm the identity of the alleged attacker.
Police spokesman Javid Ismail confirmed they were investigating a rape case but said they could not provide further details.
There were 417 reported cases of sexual assault in 2017 and there have been three such reported cases so far this year.