Violence against women in the form of rape, murder, and sexual harassment continues to happen.
When Brock Turner, a Stanford student and an all-American swimmer, was convicted of raping a woman he met at a party, there was a ripple of outrage because of a powerful letter the victim had written for him that went viral.
had found Turner on top of the woman, who had been unresponsive and partly dressed. He had claimed the woman had consented to the sexual activity, but witnesses said that she wasn't responsive.
Brock Turner (middle) during his hearing (Image: www.stanforddaily.com)
A month ago, a 23-year-old woman
was stabbed to death in Seoul, Korea. She was targeted just because "she was a woman". The man didn't even know who she was. He claimed that he had often been looked down upon by women.
South Koreans mourning over the senseless murder of a woman (Image: www.straitstimes.com)
And then there was the 14-year-old Indonesian girl, who was gang raped
before being brutally murdered. One of her rapists was her boyfriend, whom she had turned down from having sex. The men had even stuck a hoe into her private parts.
The Indonesian girl was raped and murdered for saying no to sex (Image: www.bbc.co.uk)
What About Malaysia?
While these cases are appalling, we musn't overlook what is going on in our own country. Check out this infographic, and you be the judge of whether it's safe to be a woman in Malaysia.
What Should You Do?
Know your rights! Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) has a great write-up about understanding what constitutes as violence against women here
You can also follow these steps, provided by the All Women's Action Society (AWAM).
If you are being sexually harassed:
If you have been raped:
- Tell your harasser to stop.
- If it continues, report to the authorities. If you are in university, check the school's policies and procedures for reporting sexual harassment. If this is happening at your workplace, make a report to the Human Resources department.
- Keep all evidence of harassment.
- If no action is taken, lodge a report with a higher authority, like the police.
- Tell a colleague, family or friend you trust, or contact a woman's NGO.
- Don't blame yourself. Talk to someone you trust.
- Don't wash or bathe yourself.
- Make a police report.
- Go to a general hospital.
- Contact a women's NGO for support and guidance.