Unlike many students, who look forward to going home after school, a 13-year-old girl and her two stepsisters in Trashigang dreaded going home.

The three children, who study in a school in Trashigang, alleged that their 83-year-old great-grandfather sexually assaulted them.

The 13-year-old was taken to the hospital.

Sources say the child was raped and that the signs were not from recent penetration, indicating that the child has been assaulted for many years.

It was learnt that the victim’s maternal great-grandfather sexually assaulted them regularly. The stepsister, who is also 13 years old, confessed during a school counselling session that the great-grandfather assaulted them.

According to sources, the stepmother of the victim, who is 28 years old, said in her statement that the victim could have been sexually exploited since the age of four by her great-grandfather.

It was learnt that the victim’s mother died when she was 13 months old. The father, 35, remarried when she turned four and by then the great-grandfather could have sexually assaulted her.

During a medical investigation last month, it was learnt that the other two siblings, aged 13 and 7, did not have signs of being raped.

The three children, along with the mother, were referred to Thimphu on July 5 for confirmation.

According to sources, both the parents are alcoholic.

It was learnt that the stepmother in her statement said that with no other means of income, the family had to fully depend on the great-grandfather since he had the house and few plots in the area registered in his name.

Sources said that the parents were aware of the great grandfather’s behaviour towards the children but failed to report to the authorities.

The stepmother also stated that the great-grandfather  regularly threatened the family including the father and the mother using abusive language.

According to sources, the community could have been aware of the problem in the family. However, the issue was never reported.

Younten Tshedup | Trashigang