News Article: Applause to a girl's courage: A teenager testified against her dad at an incest case in Surrey

News 1130
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rape relief workers applaud girl's courage:
A teenager testified against her dad at an incest case in Surrey

  • News 1130 Jesse Johnston

  • 2012/06/07

SURREY (NEWS1130) - Rape Relief workers say fathers sexually assault their daughters and it's hardly ever reported, and they are applauding the courage of a young girl who testified against her father at his sex assault trial in Surrey.

Yesterday, News1130 reported the story of the man convicted in a disturbing sex assault and incest case

who was sentenced to six years in prison.

The 41-year-old, was found guilty of having sex with his daughter several times over a three year period that

started when the girl was 11-years-old. 

Hilla Kerner with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter says rape victims rarely testify in court.

"To hold this man, her father, for betraying her so violently, to hold him accountable through the criminal

justice system, is a remarkable courageous act on her behalf."

Kerner says she sees cases like this often. "The incidents of rape within the family

where the man has ultimate control over the lives of his children is unfortunately very high."

Encouraging victims to come forward is a huge challenge, especially when dealing with a father.

Kerner hopes this case will encourage other victims to come forward, or to call the crisis line.

In October of last year, the father, who can only be identified as, P.M.A was convicted on four counts of

sexual assault, incest, sexual touching of a person under the age of 14, and sexual touching of a person

under the age of 16.

"What the accused did to the victim was cold, cruel, callous and cowardly," says Crown prosecutor Winston

Sayson.  "When [the girl] was in court this was obviously a very painful experience for her to recount what

occurred. Right now she is seeing a counselor and she has the incredible support of her mother and

stepfather and I hope this will be the first step of her healing."

During her testimony, the girl told the court, "I love my dad. I always have."

"These offences are generally kept as a dark secret," Sayson says. "In this particular case, it came out

not because complainant wanted it to, but because there was an incident that caused her friend to tell a

police officer."

Kerner is encouraging any girl or woman who wants to share their experience or attack to call their

24-hour crisis line, at 604-872-8212