Gender equality group launches fundraiser for Sexual Assault Care Centre

SINGAPORE - Gender equality advocacy group Aware is raising funds to support its new Sexual Assault Care Centre.

It said on Monday that it aims to raise $30,000 through a six-week fundraising campaign ( ending on Oct 10, to continue to provide free drop-in services at the centre. These include a dedicated social worker for women who suffer sexual assaults, legal advice, therapeutic counselling and a trained befriender who can accompany them to the police station, hospital or court.

The centre, launched in May, should be ready by the end of the year and will be at the group's existing premises in Dover. Its opens weekdays from 10am to 7pm.

Actresses Zoe Tay and Judee Tan front two videos released online by Aware on Monday. They include voiceovers of personal stories by women who experienced sexual assault. Ms Tan, who has personally experienced physical and sexual abuse, says in one of the videos: "With support, victims can be survivors."

Also on Monday night, Aware held its annual fundraising gala at Regent Hotel, where it lauded two Young Activists of the Year - 26-year-old Vanessa Ho, who advocates sex workers' rights in Singapore through Project X, and 13-year-old Theodore Chen, who speaks out against bullying.

"I'm so happy that what I'm doing has helped other people and I'm very honoured that (Aware) decided to recognise it," Theodore told The Straits Times.

The Secondary 2 student said that since posting his video message against bullying, many people have contacted him on social media about their own problems. He added: "My advice to them is to tell someone, anyone you trust."

Law firm WongPartnership was honoured with the 'corporate of the year' award for its high representation of women in senior management with a ratio of 55 female partners to 43 male.

The Alamak! Award, a tongue-in-cheek prize paying tribute to an event that perpetrates gender stereotypes, went to Science Centre chief executive Lim Tit Ming for an email he sent on International Women's Day this year saying not many women have the stature to hold the highest position.

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