• Tue
  • Sep 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:54pm

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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84

This article is now closed to comments

Dai Muff
No. You are missing the point. Or do you not lock your front door at night? Do you tell your kid it's okay to take lifts in strangers' cars, because society should not have child molesters? Criminals exist whether we want to recognise their existence or not. And, guess what, they do not get arrested until AFTER they have committed the crime.
And Andy Tsang is our police chief. Lai is our "secretary for security".
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?
hkbulib2
And men should drink less to avoid being robbed. Is that blaming the victim?
soho
I agree with IRDHK below, and I'd like to explain why I agree in a bit. First I'd like to say, in response to someone else below, that I don't think it's quite right to equate warning girls to stop getting drunk in order to avoid being raped with simply carrying money and then getting robbed.
To me, a more accurate comparison would be warning people to e.g. lock their doors and close their windows when they leave their houses, to avoid being robbed. Sure, we should have every right to leave our windows open, let in some fresh air or whatever (in a country other than HK perhaps!), it's our house, we should be able to do what we want with it. But we don't, because we don't want to increase the likelihood of being burgled.
So, of course rape isn't acceptable, it's not the girl's fault, it shouldn't ever happen, and girls should have the right to drink, but at the same time, she can still take measures to prevent it from occurring, just as we do with locking our doors when we leave the house. At the risk of sounding repetitive, if someone was burgled, then revealed they left their windows open, yeah it's a shame, but surely everyone would think, 'Well, what did you expect?'
Lastly, just want to remind everyone that it isn't a perfect world, so no, we can't just do as we please and expect nothing negative to ever happen to us. It just doesn't work that way, unfortunately. I'm not against freedom, but we should also be realistic with how much freedom we should all have.
HK-Explorer
Think of it this way. You are a father of a 18 year daughter. Your daughter goes out drinking every Friday night in questionable clothing and comes back at 2am drunk.
Would you not stay up late worried? Would you not ask her to dress more sensibly? Would you not ask her to drink less? Would you not warn her to be careful as there are bad men out there who could possibly rape her?
Of course you would. You would say the exact same thing as Lai Tung Kwok.
Not because you blame her or think badly of her. But because you love her and want her to be safe. If it was your daughter you would agree 100%.
So we should stop hacking on every word said by a government official or we will just end up with people who talk allot and say nothing.
Lai Tung seems to be a decent guy who gives ok advice. At least he tries.
curio
Unfortunately Lai Tung-Kwok is speaking not as a father, but as a government official. He was addressing the community, not to his family. Instead of giving helpful suggestions, like be more aware of who you are drinking with, or don't let strangers buy you drinks, etc, Mr. Lai is giving the impression that if you get rape, the government/police will not help you, because you got drunk.
coniam
Did he give that impression? Did he even imply that if you are preyed, the police will not help you?
dean.sk.5
And men don't drink too much to avoid being a rapist.
Dai Muff
He was specifically talking about female VICTIMS who had been raped while drunk. Maybe the offenders were stone cold sober and had deliberately got them in that state. No excuse for man-hating misandry here.
lausarbun
this snake eye is speaking for the communist
our justice action become hate in his mouth

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