Best defence against sexual abuse is awareness, and #MeToo has made a difference
As a member of the Hong Kong Anglican Church, I was heartbroken by the report on alleged sexual misconduct by the clergy (“Retired Hong Kong priest accused of indecently assaulting at least two church-goers”, April 18). It is important that clerics uphold very high moral standards, as they have a sacred role to serve and bring Christians closer to their faith.
Incidents such as the one reported show that society lacks awareness and knowledge in dealing with sexual abuse. Victims don’t often speak out for fear of being questioned and stigmatised. Moreover, there is a deep-rooted misconception that only females can be victims.
Sexual abuse undermines the integrity of a person, and only education can change this. Schools should educate students on resistance strategies in case of an indecent assault. Drawing attention is the most effective way to stop the abuse and provide witnesses to prove guilt. That’s why I highly appreciate the efforts of the online #MeToo movement to help identify sex offenders, so that justice can be done.
Whether it is workplaces or schools, the government should offer institutions greater subsidies and resources for more social workers to monitor the psychological situation of students and employees. Social workers are crucial to help relieve the negative emotions of victims and a trustworthy channel for reporting the case. In addition, institutions should be obliged to ensure the safety of members.
I urge for public cooperation to build a safe environment for future generations, with zero tolerance for sexual abuse.
Anfield Tam, Quarry Bay