Employee allegedly photographed without consent, sexually harassed on company WhatsApp group

Photo illustration
Photo illustration

A woman and her husband are seeking justice after she allegedly became a victim of sexual harassment at work.

In a Twitter thread that has received an outpouring of public sympathy over the weekend, the husband wrote that his wife, who works in the PR department of major conglomerate Kawan Lama Group in Jakarta, recently volunteered to model some products in a photoshoot.

At one point, the photographer, who also works at the company, took a snap of her from behind while she was changing with her bra strap exposed. The victim did not seem to be aware that he took her photo.

As seen in screenshots provided by the woman’s husband, the photographer then posted the picture on a company WhatsApp group, of which the victim is a member. Amid a flurry of inappropriate lewd comments about the victim, one male employee egged on the photographer, telling him to unclasp her bra. A female employee also joined in, making slut-shaming remarks about the victim.

The photographer, referencing the woman’s child by name, wrote “look at your mom” in the chat group.

Further down the Twitter thread, the husband said his wife was humiliated and has filed for her resignation from the company. He said they plan to meet with HR to waive the company’s one month notice requirement given the circumstances, and to demand the sacking of all those who sexually harassed her.

Replies to the thread, which, as of this article’s publication, has been retweeted 35.8 thousand times since it was posted on Saturday evening, were overwhelmingly condemning of the alleged perps.

Some suggested that the couple should report the alleged perps to the police, citing Indonesia’s newly-passed Sexual Violence Law that punishes the non-consensual taking and/or online distribution of photographs of a sexual nature with up to four years’ imprisonment.

Speaking to the press today, the husband said he and his wife indeed plan on reporting her colleagues to the West Jakarta Police this afternoon.

Yesterday, Kawan Lama Group posted a statement on Instagram saying that it is conducting an internal investigation over the allegations. The company also stressed that it does not tolerate sexual harassment and is committed to eradicating it from the workplace.

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