JOHOR BARU: Men who have been victims of sexual harassment should be brave enough to come forward to report it too, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said men should not feel shame, attributing this to low levels of awareness on sexual harassment and the victims’ fear of implications as perpetrators at work are often their superiors.
“Only 10% of complaints about sexual harassment involve male victims.
“Not many victims lodge police reports but on the ministry’s side, the One-Stop Social Support Centre (PSSS) receives many such complaints.
“Therefore, we encourage men to be braver and come forward to make complaints, including children, especially school students,” she told a media conference after opening the anti-sexual harassment advocacy roadshow programme here on Sunday (Nov 19).
Also present was Johor women, family and community development committee chairman Khairin-Nisa Ismail @ Md On.
Nancy said a total of 477 sexual harassment cases were reported last year with 90% of the complaints from women.
She said she hoped that setting up the Anti-Sexual Harassment Tribunal would allow victims to lodge complaints, thereby improving the legal system and also enabling relevant quarters to handle complaints quickly, easily and at minimal cost.
“At the moment, the tribunal will operate in the peninsula and is based in Putrajaya. I will recommend that representatives from Sabah and Sarawak be involved to facilitate the receipt of complaints from both states.
“Through this tribunal, action can be taken from a civil point of view, so they can claim for compensation,” she added.
On Oct 10, the Public Service Department approved the appointment of tribunal members related to the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act 2022.
Regarding the anti-sexual harassment advocacy programme, Nancy said it aims to make the community more aware of the issue of sexual harassment so as not to normalise the crime in the community.
Johor is the last destination for the programme this year involving an attendance of 1,300 participants, she added. – BK