Media statement by Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and International Secretary for Wanita DAP Kasthuri Patto on Tuesday 27th April 2021 in Penang:
Deputy Inspector General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani’s comment that a rape threat against a teen is ‘maybe a joke’ is normalising rape culture, belittling the victim and the reason why victims of sexual offences, including domestic violence hesitate to step forward to lodge a police report.
I read with shock and disbelief on the comment made by the Deputy IGP Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani’s with regards to a police report made by a student who was threatened with rape by her fellow classmate. The male student claimed “If I get you, I will shred you or rape you and send you to Thailand”.
Does the Deputy IGP seriously think a threat as violent as this to ‘shred’ someone or to rape someone, is a joke and therefore be treated lightly? Don’t the words “I will shred you…” mean there are elements of a violent threat? What if it was uttered by the public to a female police officer? What if it was uttered to his wife, mother, daughter or granddaughter? What if it was uttered to his son or grandson?
What if such a comment, a rape joke as he mentioned, was made against the Prime Minister’s daughter, wife or other members of his family? What if it was on any member of the PM’s cabinet? Will the Deputy IGP say the same thing?
His irresponsible, unintellectual and insensitive remark is the very reason why female and even male victims, whether young or adult hesitate to lodge a police report when they have been sexually violated, that they a victim of domestic abuse, that they are a victim of sodomy, that they are a victim of a rape that stemmed from rape jokes.
The shame, the judgement, the insult, the scorn.
Instead of being a shining example of the police as partners to educating the public and creating awareness on the seriousness of lodging a police report if you have been a victim of sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence or sexual violence, he joins in the chorus of the rest of rape apologists by brushing the matter off lightly.
His act belittles the victim – the trauma and suffering they had and have to endure.
How will public confidence be restored when the number 2 man in the Royal Malaysian Police has a mindset that reflects patriarchy, misogyny, victim shaming and victim blaming? Are boys and girls, men and women expected to accept this language as a ‘new norm’?
Does he not know of the increase in numbers of sexual offences against children, rape and domestic violence that have spiked during the MCO? Does he not know that statistically for every report made on domestic violence, 4 more goes unreported?
Being in such a senior position I hope he does, and if he doesn’t it’s time to brush up on his knowledge on rape culture, victim shaming, mental health awareness and international standards on codes of conduct by men in blue to protect and defend victims of violence.
Don’t discredit the good work done by the rest of PDRM because of your own ignorance.
A teenager who courageously reported a rape threat is now a victim.
Can the Deputy IGP guarantee her safety after such a threat has been made towards her?
Listen to the voices of women! Listen to the voices of men! Listen to the voices of youths! Take them seriously!
The joke is on you Mr Deputy IGP if you cannot protect the life and safety of a young girl who is the victim of a rape threat.
The Prime Minister must address the public to set the record straight if Malaysia is a country that accepts and allows rape threats to be made on women.
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for Wanita DAP