Forum: Don't skirt issue of sexual harassment

Given the disturbing stories by women of sexual assault, it is clear that Singapore is not spared from the global #MeToo movement (Alleged victim in SMU molestation case says male friend tried to kiss her repeatedly, ST Online, Sept 7).

Just as disturbing as the crimes themselves is how some people have reacted, suggesting that the issue may have something to do with the public's mindset.

Often, the offences are dismissed as "boys being boys".

In some cases, the victim is shamed, encouraging a normalisation of sexual harassment.

Many seem to prefer to skirt the issue, focusing on tangential claims like what the woman was wearing and distracting from just how heinous the crime is.

We must do better to protect our women. We cannot normalise any culture of sexual harassment. We must confront our biases and re-evaluate the way we have been raising the boys who will become the men of Singapore.

Allyson Leila Pamandanan Tutay, 17, JC 2 student


CALLING YOUNG READERS: If you are a student or aged 21 years or below, and want to air your opinion on any report or letter in The Straits Times, e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg, with the subject header "Voices of Youth". Do include your age, school level and contact details, and the headline of the report/letter you refer to. Please keep to a length of 250 words