It’s 2018, and sexual assault is still happening despite the progress of the “Me Too” campaign to eradicate sexual violence and predators.
In Singapore, a recent campaign video by gender equality advocacy group AWARE Singapore to end sexual violence here has received more than 64,000 views as of press time.
In the emotional video posted Monday on AWARE Singapore’s Facebook page, 10 sexual assault survivors recounted their tales of being on the receiving end of sexual assault in a range of situations, from being assaulted at 4 years old to being sexually harassed at 25 in the workplace.
In some of these situations, they too spoke about removing the societal perception that the victim is the one responsible for the assault for leading the predator on, otherwise known as victim-blaming.
One woman recounted her shock when her mom blamed her for the sexual harassment and stalking that she went through at 29 years old.
“When I was getting harassed, my mum, too, was like ‘What did you do? Did you lead him on? You must have played with his feelings, right?'” she said.
Another survivor also said that although her parents told her to forget about the assault, she feels they do not understand the extent of the “emotional, psychological scar” it has left on her life since her assault happened.
“The #metoo movement needs to keep going until women believe that when they are harassed, whether in the workplace or elsewhere, they are comfortable to go to somebody in power, somebody in authority, and feel like they will be listened to,” said one woman in the video.
Another sexual assault survivor in the video appealed for society to begin opening their hearts and minds towards understanding the struggles of each other and not be quick to judge.
“To society, just listen. I think what we need in this world is more empathy towards each other,” she said.
To end sexual violence in Singapore, AWARE is receiving pledges from supporters on its Aim For Zero website to end sexual violence in Singapore. To date, it has received 251 pledges.
The site also covers resources that supporters, employers, parents, educators and social service professionals can use in their everyday lives to prevent sexual violence from happening. These range from workshops, donations to the campaign as well as programs held by the Sexual Assault Care Centre.
The site was launched Thursday, in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.