See sexual harassment happening? Here's how to deal with the perverts!

See sexual harassment happening? Here's how to deal with the perverts!

SG Gazette·2018-01-28 16:30

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Sexual harassment seems to be prevalent nowadays, don't you think? From molesters on the train to people taking upskirt videos while on the escalators, it seems that one can never be too careful. However, what should you do, if you encounter sexual harassment happening? 

In light of recent cases shared online, organisations such as Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) have come forward with tips on how to act. Whether you’re the one being harassed or you’re watching someone else get harrassed, here are some things you can do.

As a victim

Harassment does not have to be purely physical. Staring and other kinds of visual harassment also fall under the Protection from Harassment Act.

If you feel like you’re being harassed, you can do the following:

- Move away from the perpetrator: Getting out of their line of sight is important in figuring out if they’re really watching you or not

- Speak to bystanders: One of two people around you being aware of the situation will help, particularly if it becomes very serious and the police have to be alerted.

- Call the police

- Alert the staff: If you’re in a place where staff is standing around, they will be able to keep a look-out for you.

- Film what is happening on your phone or camera device: This can be used to either scare them off or as evidence for the case.

- Document the perpetrator’s details: Remembering faces, clothes, and other outstanding features will make it easier to identify them later

- Confront them: If you question their motives, they might be scared off.

After making a police report, victims can also pursue the matter with a magistrate complaint seeking further police investigation, and eventually apprehending the perpetrator.

Do note that being unable to react in such a situation is normal, as well as flight or fight reactions.

In the case of sexual harassment on the train, AWARE has the following steps to follow:

- Press the Emergency Communication Button (ECB) located at the side of the train door to speak to the train officer.

- Share that you were harassed and indicate the carriage number. The carriage number is 4-digit, and is displayed at the joint of each car, above the two seater.

By doing so, the train officer will keep the doors closed until the station staff arrive. Using the car numbers, they will be able to identify the carriage.

Signal to them and let them know who the culprit is.

The staff members notify the culprit to alight for further investigation.

You can also request for the Transcoms Police officers to be activated.

As a bystander

If you think someone is being harassed, you can do the following:

- Ask the victim if they are alright: Alert them that someone knows they are being harassed

- Offer to accompany the victim to inform the staff

- Film the incident: Only do so after informing the victim, so they are at least aware of your intention.

- Confront the perpetrator

If you’re worried about confronting them so directly, you can distract them through certain methods. According to AWARE, some bystanders have shared creative ways to intervene that don’t draw attention to the situation.

- Ask for the time or directions from the perpetrator

- Standing between the view of the perpetrator and the victim to break their line of sight

- Describing a similar situation as if it were hypothetical while pretending to speak on the phone in hopes of scaring the perpetrator off

Helplines

- AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre: 6779 0282 - can provide emotional support and legal information (open Mon-Fri 10am - 12am)

- Catalyse Consulting: 6779 7137 - for workplace harassment or sexual discrimination (open Mon-Fri 10am - 6pm)

- Community Justice Centre (CJC): 6557 4100 - for legal advice and services (open Mon-Fri 8.30am - 5.30pm)

(Image Credit/s: VR Forums, Pexels, LV Criminal Defense, The Best Singapore, Slate)

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