updated 31 Aug 2009, 12:30
    Powered by
user id password
Wed, Feb 11, 2009
The Straits Times
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
Pregnant when she was barely 15
by Carolyn Quek & Kimberly Spykerman

BARELY 15, 'Nora' found herself grappling with an issue that was no child's play - an unwanted baby on the way.

The pregnancy was the result of a one-night dalliance with a man she barely knew.

It was not her first time.

The school dropout had been hanging out with a seedy, mostly older, crowd from her neighbourhood. Her friends were into drinking, drugs and sex, and she envied the freedom they had. Resentful of the way her parents monitored her, she ran away from home seven times.

As she needed money for her days on the streets, she turned to prostitution, charging between $60 and $80 a tryst.

'I knew a little bit about sex but learnt more from the prostitutes in Geylang,' she said.

She said she was 'scared' during her first encounter with a foreign worker, but 'just thought about the money'.

She became blase, and did not always insist her clients use protection; it was 'inconvenient' to force them to use condoms.

Nora claims that in one year, she had sex with 'more than five, but fewer than 10' men. The eighth time she ran away from home was to be the last. It was during the five months she stayed away from home that she found herself pregnant.

By then, her parents had filed a Beyond Parental Control order. Her pregnancy came to light in a check-up she was put through when she was sent to a girls' home.

She had an abortion.

Now turning 16, the soft-spoken girl who appears older than her age, is working on getting along better with her parents and hopes to become a model for bridal wear. She is seeing someone in his 20s, but says she has not had sex with him.

'Don't do it because of a guy or money. Maybe it's better to wait until you're married. Think of your future,' she said. 

This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 9, 2009.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2009 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.