6-year-old Emily (not her real name) was described as head prefect material – confident, caring, and the most mature among her classmates. It masked the challenges she faced at home.
Her father is absent and her mother toils to care for Emily and her older brother. To make ends meet, Emily’s mother made pastries at home for an illegal syndicate and ended up in jail. Emily was packed off to relatives.
In 2015, with the episode behind her, Emily prepared for the start of Primary 1 with gusto, eager to learn. But soon after, she was molested by a neighbour.
Emily now undergoes counseling at the Institute of Mental Health. On the surface, however, little has changed. She continues to present her best front to the world, like she always has.