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  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:48pm

Lai Tung-kwok rape comments

Hong Kong's Secretary for Security, Lai Tung-kwok, sparked outrage from women's groups over comments he made on May 14, 2012, when announcing a sharp rise in the number of rapes in the first quarter of that year. "Some of these cases also involved the victims being raped after drinking quite a lot of alcohol. So I would appeal that young ladies should not drink too much,' he said as he reported the government's Fight Crime Committee statistics.

NewsHong Kong
CRIME

Security chief Lai Tung-kwok denies blaming rape victims

Women's groups have called on the security chief to apologise for suggesting women should drink less to avoid being raped

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 May, 2013, 4:29pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 7:37pm
 

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Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said on Thursday he had no intention of putting the blame on rape victims when he earlier suggested women should drink less to avoid being assaulted.

Lai is facing calls from outraged women’s groups to apologise over the remarks he made on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, he said some rape cases involved victims being raped after drinking a lot of alcohol and “so I would appeal that young ladies should not drink too much.”

On Thursday, Lai explained that these remarks were made in response to media inquiries and that he did not intend to lay responsibility on the victims.

“I had no intention whatsoever of putting the blame on the victims,” he said on Thursday afternoon.

“I really hope that if there are any victims, they will bravely come forward," he said. "Police will do their best to catch their attackers and bring them to justice.”

The security chief also said he had received several emails regarding his remarks and the opinions expressed in them made hime feel "very uneasy”.

“I will humbly listen to these opinions,” he said.

Women's groups have called on the security chief to apologise for suggesting women should drink less to avoid being raped.

They said Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok had shown his ignorance and was putting the blame on the victim instead of the attacker.

Linda Wong Sau-yung, a leading campaigner against sexual violence, said she was outraged.

Women do not get raped because they drink too much alcohol. In many cases, they are raped because they have too much trust in their friends who rape them
Linda Wong Sau-yung of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women

"Women do not get raped because they drink too much alcohol," said Wong, of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women. "In many cases, they are raped because they have too much trust in their friends who rape them."

Liu Ngan-fung, a spokeswoman for Forthright Caucus, which campaigns on women's issues, said Lai was adding insult to the victims' injury.

Lai's remarks on Tuesday came as statistics from the government's Fight Crime Committee showed that rapes in the first three months of this year were up on the same period last year. The number increased almost 60 per cent to 35 cases.

Speaking after he attended the committee's meeting on Tuesday, Lai said all of the cases happened between people who knew each other.

"They are either friends, close friends or they just met a few hours ago," he said. "Some of these cases also involved the victims being raped after drinking quite a lot of alcohol. So I would appeal that young ladies should not drink too much."

Wong said Lai should withdraw the comments. "He was discouraging the victims from reporting the abuse," she said, citing a study by another group that said the actual number of rapes could be up to seven times the number reported.

Liu asked whether Lai was saying that women should not go out at night and should not drink alcohol. "Instead of putting the blame on the victim, he should step up effort to arrest the rapists. Did he mean that the victims deserve to get raped?" she asked.

Liu Pui-shan, director of the Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres, was also outraged. "It's like blaming the banks for putting too much money inside the vaults if they get robbed."

The remarks went viral on Wednesday as web users united to condemn Lai. Angry Twitter and Facebook users reposted the comments several hundred times. 

"Hong Kong Secretary for Security advises that 'young ladies not drink too much' after rise in rapes. Or, gosh, maybe tell men not to rape?” Hong Kong-based Twitter user Miss O’Kistic said on her feed.

"Doesn't matter if the woman has been drinking or dressing 'provocatively'. Rape and Sexual Violence against Women are never ok!!” Facebook user Noreen Mir wrote on the wall of protest group SlutWalk Hong Kong.

A spokesman for the Security Bureau said Lai had not intended to blame rape victims, and only wanted to highlight the ways in which culprits took advantage of their victims.

 

 

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This article is now closed to comments

PPVOICE
Give the Secretary credit for trying to minimize rape cases by pointing out a trap often used by rapists and that victims should be on guard and avoid the trap.
He is just warning potential victims (ladies) that drinking alcohol is a trap which rapists use to intoxicate the victims. There is no point telling the rapists not to use drinking as a trap.
Dai Muff
The one crime on which it is impossible to talk sense is rape. I do not flash money in poor areas. I do not carry an expensive camera in poor areas when travelling. I do not walk into a crowd of drunken football or rugby supporters wearing colours of another team. I advise children not to take candies from strangers or get in their cars. I keep my wallet away from pickpockets in tourist destinations. I do not leave my car in the street with windows open and keys in the ignition. All these seem sensible precautions. Except when you are talking about rape, when advising people to take precautions gets drowned out by screams of "blaming the victim".
Talking about how criminals SHOULD NOT steal, beat up, molest, or murder, is entirely beside the point.
boondeiyan
By your rationale, then, sensible precautions could be said to include preventing women from leaving the home without a male relative in escort (Saudi-style) or -- if HK law allowed -- carrying firearms for self-protection. Thankfully, most human societies have rejected your mindset as oppressive toward the basic negative liberties that are ascribed to all people irrespective of gender or other physical distinctions.
ianson
Surprising he didn't simply recommend women should stop making friends with men altogether, given his disclosure that all rapes this year were by men known to women. Or perhaps women should just stay behind locked doors?
Dai Muff
Hardly "his disclosure". Stranger rape only accounts for about 20% of cases. And he did say some had only known the men a couple of hours. Club scene, anyone?
donniemcm
"Instead of putting the blame on the victim, he should step up effort to arrest the rapists. Did he mean that the victims deserve to get raped?" she asked.
Well in this case it's more like giving the key to the robber instead of putting money.
Agree that we shouldn't put the blame on the victim but there is never only one person at fault. Like the saying says : there is no smoke without fire.
This guy has no tact but let's not jump onto any comment without full explanation and apologize.
tiffanya
Actually, in sexual assault and rape cases there is only one person at fault. The offender. Would you care to explain how you could come up with this idea that a victim can share part of the blame, even the tiniest bit? There is nothing anyone can do that could justify them getting raped.
Dai Muff
There is also only one person at fault in muggings, burglaries, hit and run accidents, violent assault, pickpocketings and child abuse. That does not mean we do not advise people how to reduce their chances of suffering any of the above. Only with one crime do we inhabit this silly cloud-cuckoo land.
Dai Muff
It's remarkable that if men get too drunk in a Wanchai bar, get their credit cards misused, get charged thousands of dollars for a few drinks, the very same people who are so outraged about this suggestion to women will say it is all their own fault. The criminal is always the guilty one, no one should ever "blame" the victim, but advice about protecting yourself is not an infringement on your freedoms. Not if you have any sense.
megafun
missed the point, the police chief's DUTY is to create an environment where everyone can be drunk, sleep on the pavement BUT still be safe, why can't this happen? Has our society gone wrong?

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