Puzzled by officer's handling of sexual harassment case

I recently accompanied a friend - who was traumatised from being sexually harassed at work - to make a statement at the Police Cantonment Complex.

Her treatment by the officer in charge of her case was beyond comprehension, and unacceptable in this day and age of #MeToo.

First, the officer called her at 2am to fix an appointment for a few days later to record her statement, without giving her details other than to "go to Cantonment at 4pm on Friday".

We were directed to three different places before he called to ask where she was and told her where to go.

When he came to get her at the reception area, he was brusque. His manner was generally curt and unfriendly.

My friend, who was already frightened and upset, was told that she could not have a companion with her. When she requested a different officer, his reaction was hostile and he showed signs of exasperation.

She was then put in a windowless room to wait for a female officer to arrive.

I am horrified and surprised at the lack of compassion and understanding shown, especially when he asked her why she would have a problem with a male officer after he appeared rude and impatient.

If this is how people who have suffered sexual crimes are treated, I am not surprised the number of cases that are reported is low.

Candice Lai Sui Wan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2018, with the headline 'Puzzled by officer's handling of sexual harassment case'. Print Edition | Subscribe