Framework needed to protect the vulnerable from sexual predators

It is reassuring to hear that the Attorney-General's Chambers is looking into the case of the American sex offender (Minister notes disquiet over underage sex case; March 7).

I also hope that the Government will consider a holistic, comprehensive and wide-ranging review of legal processes related to sexuality, the use of technology, the appropriateness of custodial sentences alone, and the kind of short- and long-term rehabilitation that we have for these kinds of offences.

Many new technologies provide new avenues for predators who target young girls and boys, who may not realise how exposed and vulnerable they are both online and offline.

It is important that we explore the issues of sexual violence more deeply and in the broader context.

Perhaps we should form an inter-ministerial committee and have some Budget allocations for training officers, protocol reviews, shelter spaces for victims and more incarceration spaces with more therapeutic medical services to deal with predatory sexual behaviours.

In this changing world, as we evolve to deal with technology, sexualities and a boundary-less world that often exposes the vulnerable to negative experiences, we as a society must come up with a framework to protect the youngest and weakest of us.

Braema Mathi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Framework needed to protect the vulnerable from sexual predators'. Print Edition | Subscribe