JOHOR BARU, Nov 19 — Men who are victims of sexual harassment should be brave enough to come forward to report the matter as this will facilitate the authorities to address the crime, said Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
She said they should not feel shame and attributed it to the low level of awareness on the matter and the fear of the implications by the victims considering that the perpetrators of sexual harassment at work often involve their superiors.
“Out of all complaints about sexual harassment, only 10 per cent involve male victims. We know that not many of the victims lodge police reports, but on the ministry’s side, the One-Stop Social Support Centre (PSSS) receives many of these 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 today.
Also present was the Johor Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Khairin-Nisa Ismail @ Md On.
Nancy said a total of 477 cases of sexual harassment were reported last year with 90 per cent of the complaints from women.
Therefore, she hoped that the establishment of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Tribunal would facilitate victims to lodge complaints, thereby improving the legal system and also enabling the 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, but 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.
Last Oct 10, the Public Service Department (JPA) approved the appointment of tribunal members related to the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act 2022 (Act 840).
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. — Bernama