Thursday, April 23, 2015

No Excuse to Rape Campaign

Rape is a very serious issue in Malaysia. And it probably will affect the victims and their families for a life time. When I discussed how we can help to raise the awareness with Karen, my assistant who's doing our women work, we had an initial idea of doing forums. But after much thought, we decided that we should release a video to reach out to more. We are thankful that AWAM (All Women’s Action Society) came onboard to be our partner in this campaign. 

Many time rape is perceived as a women's problem, but it is actually about men. So the target audience for this video is the men. I hope that you can help us to increase awareness about rape, watch and share this video to your friends. 

Below is my our picture during the video launch and my statement on rape. 

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Tuesday 20 April 2015

No Excuse to Rape Campaign (Rogol adalah rogol. Tiada Alasan)

Pusat Khidmat ADUN Damansara Utama and AWAM (All Women’s Action Society) have teamed up to run a digital campaign that aims to break the general victim blaming culture in Malaysia and to raise awareness about statutory rape, substance-related rape and marital rape.

On average, there are 3,000 rape cases reported every year in Malaysia and only 2 out of every 10 cases are reported. In another words, every 35 minutes there is one girl or woman being raped somewhere in Malaysia.

Rape can only be reduced when we as a society have greater awareness about the severity of the issue and start addressing the taboos, myths and mindsets that exacerbate rape culture. One fact that should be understood clearly is that the act of rape is never the fault of the victims but the rapists.  Many people think that rape is about women but it is more about men. Hence this digital campaign main target audience is the men.  

Women are often seen as an object, a “possession” or somewhat inferior than men in eastern culture and women’s attire is often cited as a reason to rape.  However, various social studies have shown that woman attire is not a significant factor of rape. They found that instead of sexual attractiveness, rapists actually looked for signs of passiveness and submissiveness[1]. In short, rape is a show of power and control[2]. This also explains why most sex victims are usually significantly lower in dominance, assertiveness, and social presence. In Malaysia, most of the rape cases involved victims below 16 years old. In 2013, the number of cases that involved minors was as high as 2,111 cases[3].

Furthermore, we are extremely concerned with the low success rate in charging the rapists. According to the Home Ministry, from 2005 to July 2014, a total of 28,471 rape cases were reported, of which only 16% of them (4,514 cases) were brought to court with only 2.7% of them (765 cases) were found guilty. [4] The factors that resulted in acquittal or a lesser sentence are as below­­:

1. Delay of police report
2. Victims pulling back their reports, stating personal reason i.e., lack of interest, desire to forget the incident, desire to marry, etc.
3. Lack of coorperation, commitment of victims and witnesses (willing party) and lack of criminal evidence.
4. Difficulties of documentation, identitfying and arresting suspects.
5. No supporting statements from witnesses, medical reports and chemical reports to support victim’s statement.

We believe that the police must be more serious and dedicated in pursuing rape cases.  We hope that with greater respect for women in the society as well as more serious attitude by the authorities in pursuing rape cases, fewer girls and women in Malaysia will have to go through the painful experience being raped.

Rape survivors who need help can call AWAM at 03-78770224. For more information, visit

[3] Parliament Malaysia, Ref 6988, Jun 2014
[4] Parliament Malaysia, Ref 7105, Oct 2014