Voices Of Youth

Combating sexual assault and abuse

I am disturbed by the rising number of molestation cases. These show how trust is misused and how sexual assault is not limited by gender or age. Anyone can get sexually harassed.

However, the alarming part is the reluctance of boys to report sexual harassment or abuse out of shame or fear that they won't be believed.

Stereotypes about manliness, gender, sexuality and power are further barriers. There is the longstanding idea that men must always be in control of themselves and shouldn't show vulnerability and weakness.

There is no quick fix to the problem of sexual harassment and abuse but there is potency in numbers and strength in speaking out.

The Government could increase jail time for such offences and make it a point to identify the perpetrators instead of hiding their identity as they could go out and reoffend.

This will deter people from committing such crimes and for the perpetrators, make them feel the same shame that they inflicted on the victims.

We must empower people, no matter man or woman, to stand up for themselves and their rights.

Stacey Ho Ling Ying , 16

Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2019, with the headline 'Combating sexual assault and abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe