We may not speak about this enough – especially in our largely conservative country – but sexual harassment has happened to many women (and some men too) residing in Malaysia.
There has been an increasing number of sexual misconduct cases in public transportation. In fact, Malaysia’s transport system is arguably one of the most dangerous places for women. Fear, shame, and shock have often kept the victims silent. No more, it’s time to say #TimesUp on that and speak up.
Sexual harassment is legally defined as “any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, visual, gestural or physical, directed at a person which is offensive or humiliating or is a threat to their well-being.”
Examples of sexual harassment include:
- inappropriate touching and/or bodily contact (eg. brushing against the body, pinching, etc.)
- licking lips
- offensive remarks
- unwanted persistent and repeated proposals for dates
- kissing sounds
- threatening to demote or fire you (from work) if you refuse to give sexual favours
- leering/ogling with suggestive overtones
- sending messages/images of a sexual nature
A courageous young Malaysian lady named Elycia Sang, who recently reported a sexual harassment while commuting, took to her Facebook page to share some helpful tips for those who find themselves in a similar situation. Here are 5 actions to consider:
1. Lodge a complaint via WhatsApp
Public commuters who find themselves in a tricky situation in any of Prasarana’s train can report to a Special Action Team (SAT) at +60 10 766 4472, while similar incidents on busses can be directed to +60 19 791 4472. Do remember to take photos/videos of the perpetrator and/or the crime.
2. Take note of key information
When you lodge a report to SAT, conveying helpful information (such as the train number, time and the location of the incident) will help speed up the process for the authorities.
3. You can reach out to SAT on social media
4. Lodge a police report
In addition, we have also added a 5th suggestion – which is to get emotional support. Share with a trusted friend or consult a counsellor/therapist for emotional support. This will help to reduce stress and anxiety over the sexual assault case and hopefully it will help you regain your confidence again.