BFM 89.9: Steps must be taken to support survivors of sexual harassment — JAG

DECEMBER 4 — The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) is very disturbed by the email recently circulated concerning radio station BFM 89.9. We are concerned by the email’s description of alleged sexual assault and harassment, and of alleged poor response from NGOs.

We note the statement released by BFM 89.9 yesterday that mentions steps being taken, which includes setting up an independent investigation. Notwithstanding the investigation, any criminal actions should be referred to the police – with the consent of the alleged survivors.

Steps must also be taken to support and protect the alleged survivors. This includes safeguarding confidentiality, temporary change of work arrangements for the alleged accused persons and alleged complainants, access to counselling, and clear information on the status investigation process. Steps must also be taken to foster a work environment where complaints can be raised and properly dealt with without fear.

Every organisation has a responsibility to maintain conducive and safe working environments for all their employees. Additionally, listeners of BFM 89.9 – a media organisation which is seen to carry a progressive message – have a legitimate interest to be satisfied that the complaints are handled fairly and that the organisation is a safe working space.

We also urge all whistleblowers to protect survivors’ identities and confidentiality when speaking up about sexual harassment and sexual assault.

To all the survivors of gender-based violence, do not hesitate to contact the following organisations for free and confidential support:

All Women’s Action Society
(counselling, legal information, case management)
Telenita helpline: 03-7877-0224
Email: [email protected]

Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group
SAWO Helpline: 088-280200
[email protected]

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
(counselling, case management, shelter)
WAO Hotline: 03 7956 3488
WhatsApp: 018 988 8058

Women’s Centre for Change Penang
Tel: 04-228 0342
www.wccpenang.org

We must not tolerate gender-based violence in any forms.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer or organisation and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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