PETALING JAYA: A women’s empowerment group has taken the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to task for saying that female journalists’ dress preference is one of the reasons they become victims of sexual harassment from politicians.
The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said NUJ’s response was disappointing as it blamed the victim instead of condemning the crime of sexual harassment.
“NUJ should respect what their women members are saying and recognise that it is both endemic and dangerous.
“What is needed is a strong response to protect and support survivors of harassment, otherwise it will continue to be tolerated and regularised in the field,” said WAO executive director Sumitra Visvanathan.
We were at the crowded lobby of a four-star hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. That’s where the child sex predator decided to make his big move.
The man, in his late 30s, had spent most of the past hour at a cafe across the street patiently trying to convince Natalie, his 15-year-old “friend” he met on WeChat, to accompany him to his hotel room, where they could really get to know each other. She needed to “learn to trust”, he kept repeating.
Natalie, however, was reluctant, and afraid. They had only started messaging each other a week ago, and she had heard many “stranger danger” stories.
But the man knew what he was doing. He was a “groomer”, a sex predator who trawls mobile chat apps for victims, slowly gaining their trust before manipulating them to fulfill his twisted, perverted fantasies.
Throughout the conversation, he remained kind, yet persistent, until Natalie finally caved, agreeing to walk with him to the hotel lobby, nothing more.
When they got there, he made his big play. He made it clear he wanted to have sex, along with an altogether more horrifying confession.
“You’re not the only young girl I know. There are many,” he said.
“Do all of them do this with you?” she asked.
“I’ve done it with girls from Form One to Form Six! The one that is in Form One (aged 13) is from a school in KL. There’s another one in Selangor, but she’s in Form Four now.”
(Details have been generalised to protect the identity of the minors involved).
What the man didn’t know was that R.AGE journalists were stationed all around the hotel, listening to his every word, filming his every move.
And Natalie was actually a 26-year-old R.AGE undercover journalist, disguised to look like a schoolgirl.
Our journalist was walking a tightrope. She had to find out as much about the man as possible – particularly if he has committed other crimes against children – without spooking him off. She had to keep his attention, without ever saying anything remotely suggestive. Read more →