Practice of victim blaming and body shaming must stop

Wanita MCA Selangor notes that Petaling Jaya district police chief Asst Comm Mohamad Fakhruddin Abdul Hamid has affirmed that the police are investigating a police officer who allegedly uttered words indicative of victim-blaming.

The episode apparently occurred when a cosplayer went to lodge a report attired in her costume play (cosplay) dress over an alleged stalking and harassment incident during an event called Anime Fest at Paradigm Mall.

We hope that the investigations will be carried out in a fair and impartial manner for both the police officer and the victim. It is not up to any police officer attending to the public lodging police reports to make comments, more so when such comments blame the victim with hints of body-shaming. The women and men in blue are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, receive any report filed and not pass judgement nor be dismissive of the issue raised. As persons of authority, the public looks to the police to be the vanguards of safety and security.

Wanita MCA along with other women NGOs have long asserted that how an individual is attired is not reason to be faulted nor give rise to any criminal elements committed against her or even him.

Still reeling from the dress code backlash at Wisma Persekutuan in Johor, Wanita MCA Selangor stresses that individuals must exercise self-control and restraint despite whatever situation the surrounding is or emotional or physical urges one may have.

The police officer who attended to the complaint had allegedly uttered: “You wear (clothes) like this, you sell pictures like this, this is the consequence. You are in the wrong, too.” Going by the same (il)logic of the police officer, should vehicle and property owners likewise be blamed if vehicle thieves steal their vehicles and intruders loot goods from their homes, shops, offices, warehouses or factories? Should financial institutions be blamed if robbers rob their branches or destroy their ATMs for readily available cash?

Meanwhile, Wanita MCA Selangor also proposes that all police officers attend gender sensitivity courses in handling offences which are sexual in nature e.g. rape, incest, sexual harassment or assault, paedophilia, stalking, molest, indecent behaviour and others. With more education and public awareness, the possibility of sexual offences can be reduced while a person’s body is respected, safe from harm.

The women’s wing of MCA via our Legal Advisory and Women’s Aid Centre (LAWA) stands ready to extend any assistance to the victim and others facing the same predicament if required. LAWA may be reached at 03-2716 5932.

Tee Hooi Ling

Wanita MCA Selangor Chairperson

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