Monica Baey sees value in sharing her experience with others

National University of Singapore undergraduate Monica Baey, who was filmed showering in Eusoff Hall by a fellow student last year, was a panellist at Taking Ctrl, Finding Alt 2019 yesterday. She said she hopes she can help others who have experienced
National University of Singapore undergraduate Monica Baey, who was filmed showering in Eusoff Hall by a fellow student last year, was a panellist at Taking Ctrl, Finding Alt 2019 yesterday. She said she hopes she can help others who have experienced sexual assault. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

She gets frustrated when she sees media reports of upskirt or voyeurism cases, but Ms Monica Baey, 23, is glad that such news keeps the conversation about the proper handling of sexual assault cases going.

"I'm glad people are talking about it. You cannot curb it completely, but people will start recognising (sexual assault as an issue)," said the final-year National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate who speaks from personal experience.

A panellist at Taking Ctrl, Finding Alt 2019, organised by the Association of Women for Action and Research yesterday, Ms Baey was filmed showering in Eusoff Hall by fellow student Nicholas Lim, 23, in November last year.

It has been seven months since she took to social media to express her anger when she felt that NUS did not punish him adequately for the act, and her life has changed in many ways.

For one, she has returned to school after her exchange programme in Taiwan ended in June.

Stepping back onto campus was not easy, but she said she feels safer given the new security measures in place, including a school-sanctioned protection order that prevents Mr Lim from being in the same faculty building as her.

NUS and other universities also made changes to strengthen their disciplinary frameworks against those who commit sexual offences on campus and shore up support for victims of such offences.

When her online post went viral in April, Ms Baey received over 1,000 social media messages from others sharing their experiences of sexual assault.

Until today, people continue to reach out.

 

Ms Baey, who works part-time at an advertising firm, hopes she can help them.

"Being a fellow survivor, I understand what they're going through... I realised that people are more willing to come forward when they see someone else talking about their experience," she said.

She added: "This is what pushes me to continue talking about it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2019, with the headline 'Monica Baey sees value in sharing her experience with others'. Subscribe