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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 7:16pm

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

Security chief Lai Tung-kwok stops short of apology for rape remark

Responses leave Lai Tung-kwok 'uneasy', but he makes no attempt to withdraw the comment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 May, 2013, 5:56am

The security chief admitted yesterday that he felt "uneasy" after reading e-mails responding to his suggestion that women should drink less to avoid being raped, but he appeared to be standing by the comment.

He did not withdraw the remark or apologise despite demands to do so.

"I did not mean to put the blame on victims [of rape and sexual abuse]," Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said.

On Tuesday, Lai appealed to young women not to drink too much, as the latest government statistics showed the number of rapes in the first quarter of the year had increased almost 60 per cent, to 35 cases.

With his words coming under fire, Lai said he had replied to e-mails and would "listen humbly to suggestions". He also asked victims to step forward to report rape and said the police would do all they could to bring the attackers to justice.

It may have been a gentle reminder, and I don't doubt his good intentions, but it's also a judgment - an incorrect judgment and assumption. I'm worried this wrong logic will cause women to misunderstand and think that if they drink less, they'll avoid being raped

Women's groups said his response was not satisfactory and repeated calls for him to withdraw his original comment and apologise.

"He has put some victims through a second trauma," Linda Wong Sau-yung, of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, said. "What he said has distressed many of those who have been violated.

"He has rubbed salt into victims' wounds, so he should apologise for that."

Wong said they had received calls on their sexual abuse hotline from upset victims.

"He needs to withdraw the statement," she said. "It may have been a gentle reminder, and I don't doubt his good intentions, but it's also a judgment - an incorrect judgment and assumption. I'm worried this wrong logic will cause women to misunderstand and think that if they drink less, they'll avoid being raped."

Si-si Liu Pui-shan, from the Federation of Women's Centres, said: "Research tells us that most women who suffer sexual violence don't report it out of shame, and his statement affirms these fears and feelings.

"He explained his intentions, but intentions are one thing; the effects are another. What he has done is put the blame on the girls."

Liu said it raised concerns about how low on the agenda gender issues were for high-ranking officials.

"Anyone who knows anything about gender issues would know this is not something right to say. Lai is just one example."

Lawmakers Helena Wong Pik-wan and Claudia Mo Man-ching also called for an apology, with Wong saying Lai should consider resigning.



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This article is now closed to comments

This is the very first time I come across remarks that suggesting that girls should drink less is evil. In fact, this suggestion should be made by all parents, teachers and anyone with a logical sense. I grew up watching movies and TV series made in HK in the 1950s - 2010s, and many of those movies do illustrate the danger associated with consuming alcohol excessively by young ladies. The present attacks on LAI Tung Kok will gag advice to ladies against drinking.
Don't force LAI Tung kok to reveal how many of those raped regret drinking while making the reports to the police.
No need to apologize...........those idiotic women groups just like to protest against everything even when the drinking too much warning is good for them.............just let them get drunk if they want and see what happens..........
Dai Muff
When "women's groups" campaign against sensible advice, they are putting misandrist ideology BEFORE actually caring about the welfare of women. No it is not a judgement. And no he is not saying you won't get raped if you keep your senses about you. But your chances are improved.
Good for him. In general, everyone should avoid drinking too much to avoid getting into situations that compromise their safety. it is common sense. I hope he stands his ground.
Hopefully he does not apologise. That would send a message to young girls that they can drink as much as they want and not worry. That is 100%wrong. Drunk = making wrong judgements = less ability to stay away from bad situations = getting into situations they will regret the rest of their lives.
Being drunk does not necessary only equate to rape but also consensual sex made without a clear mind that may be regretted the next day.
For both guys and girls drinking responsibly is always the best method.
dear Mr Lai, please don't withdraw your statement. you didn't say anything wrong, just put a valid statement across, most parents said that to their kids every time they go out
Lets test ourselves - lets start with a few classes of champagne or cocktails, then a few glaases of rouge or blanc over dinner, a dessert wine with the dessert and round up with a cognac or whisky. Then we can see how we feel. Mr Lai, you made point; young ladies, please do not over drink, drink with discretion and enjoy the drinks, but please don't intoxicate yourselves with excess!
One of the factors of rape case is partially due to the drunkness of ladies, which open chances to sex abusers to commit crime
I rather prefer to see he apologies for the police stupid decision and poor judgement pressing charge for the taxi driver keeping 50 cents. That made Hk stupid and shame. And no respect for the poor hard working and low paid people.
Dai Muff
Man-hating nonsense of the kind too often found from victim feminist groups. Rape is a rapist issue, just like murder is a **** issue, child molestation is a child abuser issue, and theft is a thief issue. But you know, in only ONE of these cases is giving people advice on how to avoid being victimised construed as "blaming the victim".
And you might want to check the female teachers who rape underage boy students and still get light sentences and media sympathy before being so sure rape is solely a "male" issue.
Dai Muff
"our pretty ladies can avoid being raped once they drink less ! " He did not say that. You did. He spoke specifically about victims who HAD been attacked while drunk. Read the reports.
hard times !
if secretary for security,Mr.Lai Tung-kwok's views on the relationship between drinking and rape are correct.Then our pretty ladies can avoid being raped once they drink less ! What an absurd remark it sounds ! Yet his words are supported by pro-establishment Exco.& Legco member,Broomhead Ip Lau who stands out to support Lai shamelessly and unconvincingly. Of course,this old lady(widow) will never be raped for drinking (no matter how much she drinks) since she is already over 60 though wearing heavy make-up and decorated with a pearl necklace which costs dozens of thousands at least ! Lai angers the public by saying that a male cop photoed bear-hugged a female protesting student was an isolated incident and he could not determine whether the act of the male middle-aged officer was right or not.But according to a lawyer, the protesters outside the Caritas school in Tseung Kwun O did not breach the Public Security Ordinance since their number is under 50 and they did not commit any violent acts but were forcefully towed away by an all-male cops under the command of a superintendent who wrongly said that the protesters had violated Public Security Ordinance and took part in an unlawful gathering by staging a sitting-in in a public place----totally misleading !
Lai Tung Kwok should resign immediately. An apology is not good enough. A person with that type of mentality should not be allowed to sit in that chair in the first place.
Rape is entirely a male issue and every iota of fault lies in the attacker. The tiniest suggestion that the victim contributes to being attacked is offensive in the extreme.
Both guys and girls,right? But he is only talking about girls/ladies drinking too much. You did not read that?


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