Giving sex attackers the boot


  • Metro News
  • Monday, 23 Sep 2019

(From second right) Lim, Chong Eng, Chow and Kasturi Patto (left) having a group photo with organisers and sponsors of the Penang Goes Orange campaign at Komtar, Penang.

EVERY year, Penang would shed light on the various forms of violence committed against women and girls in society through its Penang Goes Orange (PGO) campaign.

With the theme on sexual abuse this year, the state is, once again, calling on the public to support the meaningful event.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said PGO is a state campaign that is organised every year to create awareness on violence against women.

He said PGO was also a response by the state to the United Nations’ call for the elimination of violence against women.

“I am proud to say that Penang is the first and only state in Malaysia to have this campaign from November to December annually since 2014.

“Last year, we focused on stopping sexual harassment and it received positive reception from many levels of our society.

“As for this year, our theme is on sexual abuse,” he said at a press conference to announce the PGO 2019 campaign in Komtar recently.

Chow said sexual abuse is one’s sexual behaviour or sexual act that is forced upon another – a woman, man or child – without their consent.

“Contrary to popular beliefs in Malaysia, most perpetrators are someone close or familiar to the sexual abuse survivors.

“Sixty-seven percent of rape cases happened at home or buildings familiar to survivors as compared to 33% in isolated places, vehicles and estates.

“More shockingly, at least three sexual abuse cases are reported in Penang every week. Since it is believed that most survivors do not report their case, the figure may only be the tip of an iceberg,” he said.

Chow added that sexual abuse cases are not tolerated in the state and have no place in Penang 2030.

“It is our shared vision that Penang is a state where everyone is safe and free to pursue their dreams and have an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed without fear.

“The PGO campaign is important as it bridges the present and our projected future of Penang,” he said.

Co-organised by the Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) and Penang Women’s Development Corporation (PWDC), the PGO 2019 campaign will be launched at the field in front of Dewan Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi in Butterworth on Nov 17.

A 2.6km walk named ‘I Stop Violence Against Women and Children’ will also take place on the same day from 7.30am to 10am.

Chow called on the public to join the walk as a message to the nation that they are supporters of the campaign.

“Most importantly, it would show that they are willing to support victims of sexual abuse through real actions.

“Online registration is available at www.howei.com.

“You can look for the link on the Facebook pages of WCC and PWDC,” he added.

Chow said the state government has allocated RM1.35mil for the newly formed Women and Family Development Committee (JPWK) to boost women-related programmes and leadership in all 40 state constituencies in Penang.

“Since 2017, RM142,137 and RM32,081 have been spent on the Ibu Emas programme and Ibu Tunggal programme respectively.

“Most importantly, about RM2.66mil had been committed by the state government for the early detection of breast cancer among women from 2019 to 2022,” he said.

Meanwhile, state women, family development and gender inclusiveness committee chairman Chong Eng said about RM2mil was given to set up WCC over the last 10 years.

Also present were PWDC chief executive officer Ong Bee Leng, WCC president Susan Siew, Escape Theme Park executive director Silviya Georgieva, Batu Kawan MP Kasturi Patto, Seri Delima assemblyman Syerleena Abdul Rashid and Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim.
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