The 10-year-old rape victim whose unborn baby was aborted last week in India is not going home to her mother.
The Hindustan Times reports child welfare authorities said they are concerned about the girl’s safety after her mother publicly asked that her husband — the man who allegedly raped the girl — be released from jail.
When the girl was discharged from the hospital Monday, she was taken to a children’s home, according to the report.
“The victim’s mother is more concerned of her rapist husband who impregnated her daughter than showing any interest in taking care of her,” child welfare official Dr. Raj Singh Sangwan told the newspaper. “She is continuously asking for his release from jail. In such a scenario, we did not find it appropriate to hand over the victim to her mother considering her future.”
The girl, only recently discovered to be pregnant, was about 20 weeks pregnant with her unborn child when she had the abortion, according to The Express Tribune. Twenty weeks is the legal abortion limit in India; exceptions are allowed if the mother’s life is in danger.
Last week, a panel of doctors agreed that an abortion should be allowed in the young girl’s case, even if she was past the legal abortion limit, the BBC reports. Reports indicate her unborn baby was aborted last Wednesday.
The girl’s story began gaining international attention early last week. At one point during the week, the girl’s mother gave an interview to a local news outlet and said she wants her husband who allegedly raped her daughter to be released from jail. The mother said her husband admitted that he had raped the girl repeatedly.
“Please set my husband free. These NGOs and activists promising big things will not take care of me and my children for life. They will go within two-three days. My husband will take care of us,” the mother told The Hindustan Times.
Local police said the girl’s mother requested the abortion. It is unclear what the young girl’s wishes were in the matter.
A report in The Guardian also mentioned the mother’s request to have the alleged rapist released:
“The girl’s life is destroyed but what will happen to my other children? I need to think about their future too,” the daily quoted the mother as saying from a hospital in Rohtak, a district in northern Haryana state.
India has a gruesome record on rape, with the capital New Delhi alone registering 2,199 rape cases in 2015 – an average of six a day.
A UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014 expressed alarm over the widespread sexual abuse of children and said one in three rape victims in India was a minor.
Mirage News reports the girl’s mother discovered that she was pregnant about two weeks ago, allegedly to her stepfather. When the girl’s mother learned of the abuse and her daughter’s pregnancy, she reported the stepfather to authorities, the report states. The girl told police that her stepfather had threatened her not to tell anyone about the abuse.
The family is from Rohtak Town in Haryana, India.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 93 women are raped in India every day, and most of the victims know their perpetrators. The NCRB reports the women typically are between 18 and 30 years old (15,556) and 14 and 18 years old (8,877). After rape, many victims report that their abusers forced them to abort their unborn babies to cover up the abuse.