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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

Ben
perhaps he’s been speaking to Todd Akin on 'Legitimate rape'.
masterwong
"Does the police chief knows his DUTY is to create an environment where everyone can be drunk, sleep on the pavement BUT still be safe? " Ridiculous! Don't you know that the ultimate responsibility of keeping one safe is him/her-self? If you don't protect yourself, whoever else can't help!
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?
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.
sim
I agree with the backers of Lai Tung-kwok. The statistics show the proof, and he is simply trying to give practical advice to women to minimise their chance of getting raped. Why twist his words?
mcheung
Another classic example of our dedicated, hard working and efficient civil servant promoted to senior government positions. What a JOKE! This guy can't even make a correct political statement.
shouken
What is a "right" but asking the government to intervene on one's behalf. True independance means the individual take full responsibility for his/her action and deal with the situation on her/his own. Being sexy is not a crime? Well it is! if the way one is dressed amounts to visual harassment (or even assault) to the public. No men should put up with that kind of visual attack on their dignity.
shouken
What's wrong with advising women to drink less? It is the same as advising people to avoid dark alleys after nightfall to avoid being mugged.
oxymoron14.
This prototype comment ingenuity (sarcastically) is a SCMP last stand from going out of business. So far this software is full of bugs and worst, there is a stupid moral police (editor) sitting on his high horse in committing unnecessary censorship in any words he sees fit.
shouken
Next time when you advise your daughter to avoid dark alleys after nightfall, because she might encounter danger there, tell her she should seek an apology from you at the same time.

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