Singapore — Over the weekend, a Facebook post by stand-up comic Sharul Channa that she does not feel safe as a woman in Singapore due to the prevalence of sexual misconduct has gone viral, getting more than 4,000 shares.
She says at the beginning: “I don’t feel safe in Singapore as a woman. I don’t.” Later, she reiterates that she does not feel safe, adding “and I am angry”.
She also asks more than once in her post: “Why should we call the police?”
I don’t feel safe in Singapore as a woman. I don’t. I keep talking about it because the cases don’t get better. Rape…
Her post concerns the high incidence of “molestation and other forms of sexual harassment” that she says is not taken seriously in Singapore, even if rapists are punished. She adds that while she has talked about the issue on many occasions in the past, nothing has changed.
The comic added a photo of a portion of a police report which shows that the police issued a warning “in lieu of prosecution” to a man who had been charged with outrage of modesty. She explained that a man had twice brushed his body against her sister on an MRT escalator.
Her sister ran after the man, filed a police report and assisted with the investigation but, 10 months later, she gets a letter that says the police had administered a warning to the accused.
The comic also wrote about the many posters in public transport areas to call police in cases of molestation: “Sure we can call the police but what is the police doing about it?”
She cited the recent case of a woman who claimed she had been molested while onboard a Singapore Airlines flight but which resulted in the accused’s acquittal since the court felt that her story had been inconsistent and that the accused had given his number to her prior to the incident.
The comic added: “So hence, victim was called UNRELIABLE WITNESS.
“So, why should we call the police?”
“Every time there is a molestation or upskirt video case, we read the sentences in the papers that read:
1. He comes from a good background.
2. He had no criminal history.
3. He is sorry and will change.
4. So as to not destroy his future prospects…
Nothing ever happens.”
Whereas the victims of such incidents end up suffering mental, physical and emotional trauma.
At the end of her post, she asked: “If this has happened to you or to people you know, please share their stories so that change can take place.” #protectsingaporewomen” /TISG