It had been quite a while since I was last assigned to unwed pregnancy cases. I still remember sending Zana to a shelter home in KL just a few days after she admitted to me that she was pregnant.
Then there was Sharifah, a student at a private college in Ipoh. Since her parents lived outside of Perak, when things didn’t turn out as planned, I had to send her to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning (I received her emergency call at about 2.30 am) to deliver.
This time however, it’s a totally different scenario. I have not been assigned to a new case of an unwed pregnant HIV+ girl like the previous cases. If you remember earlier in March this year, I received a message from an HIV+ lady, Dahlia, seeking help. Dahlia got my number from someone else who thought I’d be the right person to approach for HIV cases. True enough, I not only had to help her out financially, I also had to help arrange to get her an appointment at the hospital and get proper HIV treatment.
Dahlia is a single mother taking care of 6 children from her failed marriages.
No, the unwed pregnancy case I’m talking about this time is not about Dahlia. And the pregnant girl is not even HIV+. But this story is still about Dahlia’s family. Meaning to say, more burden on Dahlia’s shoulders.
You see, the pregnant girl is Dahlia’s 15 year old daughter. She was raped by a 20 year old boy, a former student of the same school. Apparently he lured the girl with money, taking her out to have some fun. Things that Dahlia herself could not afford to give her kids. Dahlia did not have any earlier knowledge about this boy since her daughter would actually go out with a female classmate of hers.
When the girl was initially raped, she did not inform her mother about it. It was only later when she became more rebellious, and at one time even tried to run away from home, that Dahlia figured something was wrong. When finally the girl told her the truth about being raped, Dahlia immediately brought her to get tested, and sure enough, the girl was found to be pregnant.
Police reports were made, and since the girl is underage, JKM too got involved. Dahlia is adamant that she will take care of her soon-to-be-born grandchild. That was what she told the JKM officers and that was what she told me today. The JKM will still closely monitor the case.
However, since the rape/pregnancy was known later, I suppose there is no proof to show that this particular boy was the actual culprit. While the boy had been remanded for questioning, they will have to wait until the girl delivers, after which a DNA test will be done to determine the biological father of the baby.
And guess what? The boy had the cheek to meet Dahlia at home, offering her some money, asking her to withdraw her police report on him. Despite being poor and at times desperately in need of money, Dahlia did not give in. Instead, she made another police report saying that the boy was harassing her to withdraw her earlier report.
For the moment the girl still goes to school. Her pregnancy is not quite visible yet to the naked eye and the girl will continue going to school at least until she completes her form 3 exams next month. She is due to deliver in early January. Hopefully she will deliver earlier during the school holidays, and then she can continue her schooling when school reopens next year. Dahlia plans to transfer her to another school by then.
My main concern is the girl’s future. It is however good to know that she is still doing okay at school. For the moment the girl doesn’t know that I already know about her pregnancy. I’m sure she’d feel uncomfortable if Dahlia told anyone about it, and I’m sure Dahlia herself doesn’t want people to know about it either. But Dahlia simply had to let things out of her system, and today she got the opportunity when I bumped into her at the hospital. She was there for her appointment and I was there for my clinic duty.
Whatever it is, Dahlia definitely needs more support from now on. I hope to be able to give her the needed moral support at least.