26% of Singaporean women have experienced sexual harassment: poll


SINGAPORE — A quarter of Singaporean women (26 per cent) have experienced sexual harassment, while less than half of such incidents are reported by both men and women, according to a poll by UK-based research firm YouGov released on Tuesday (30 July).

By comparison, only one in 10 men (9 per cent) have been sexually harassed.

According to those who said that they had faced sexual harassment, some 61 per cent said they had been sexually assaulted. Another 44 per cent reported verbal comments of a sexual nature.

Victims also experienced persistent and unwanted invitations of a sexual nature (27 per cent) and unsolicited messages of a sexual nature (19 per cent).

The main reason people have chosen not to report sexual harassment is embarrassment (42 per cent), fear of repercussion (30 per cent) and feeling that no one will do anything about the problem (29 per cent).

Of those who have been sexually harassed, only half (52 per cent) reported or told someone about the incident. Among them, most told a friend (54 per cent) or family (41 per cent) about being sexually harassed, while 19 per cent informed the police.

The survey, conducted by YouGov’s Omnibus online research service, polled 1,045 Singaporeans between 3 to 7 June.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov Omnibus said, “Due to a lack of official statistics surrounding sexual harassment in Singapore, we wanted to find out how prevalent the issue was. What is surprising is the number of sexual harassment cases that go unreported, and the reasons behind it. It’ll be interesting to see if these figures change in an age of #MeToo.”

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