Singapore

Molest: Painful consequences for both parties

From the culprit to the victim, everyone suffers after a molest.

Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist at Dr BL Lim Centre For Psychological Wellness, said that in the few weeks after a victim is molested, she might experience anxiety attacks and nightmares.

Victims may avoid the scene of the incident, which can cause inconvenience in their daily lives.

In severe cases, the trauma may lead to depression or anxiety disorders.

Dr Lim said: "In Singapore, most women feel it is quite safe and people live without fear. But once it (outrage of modesty) happens to you, the sense of safety goes away."

When asked why perpetrators are willing to risk everything just for a fleeting satisfaction, Mr Huang Wei Xin, a counsellor at Shan You Counselling Centre, said there are multiple reasons.

These include poor impulse control, a lack of emotionally satisfying relationships and poor self-esteem, which might lead to perpetrators molesting or taking upskirt videos to fulfil their unmet needs.

Ms Anisha Joseph, head of the Sexual Assault Care Centre of the Association of Women for Action and Research, said perpetrators may want to assert power and control over victims.

She added: "Women are disproportionately the victims of sexual violence as sexist beliefs are still common.

"Women are still objectified, and myths about sexual assault and victim-blaming attitudes are still common."

Mr Ray Louis, managing director of Ray Louis Law, said he sees perpetrators who have addiction issues, such as to porn.

He said: "People who have such addictions should get help early. If not, on the spur of the moment they may not be able to control themselves."

He has seen clients being asked to resign during a case's investigation, when they have not been convicted yet.

With a criminal record, Mr Louis added that it is possible perpetrators may lose everything - from their job to their marriage and reputation.

Mr Huang noted that men often find it shameful to talk about their mental health issues or unmet needs, but counselling can offer a safe space to process such issues.

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