Investigate the crime not blame the victim, group tells cops amid fear of speaking up among women

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A police officer allegedly told a cosplayer seeking to lodge a report that harassment by a stalker was due to her outfit. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
A police officer allegedly told a cosplayer seeking to lodge a report that harassment by a stalker was due to her outfit. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 ― StandUp Malaysia said today that the police should not blame sexual harassment or violence survivors who lodge report to them.

After a cosplayer alleged a police officer had pointed to her outfit as the reason behind her harassment and stalking, the group focusing on fighting sexual and gender-based violence said the police should have instead taken the complaint seriously.

“We strongly believe that the role of the police is to keep people safe and prevent crimes by acting on the report accordingly, the recording of statements in writing should not be of victim-blaming or prejudiced nature,” the group said in a statement.

“Due to the prejudice towards female victims lodging police reports against sexual violence, more victims consequentially fear coming forward to speak up which therefore results in more unreported cases.

“The prejudice from officers has also contributed to victims suffering in silence,” it added.

StandUp Malaysia’s remark came after an incident in which a police officer allegedly told a cosplayer seeking to lodge a report that harassment by a stalker was due to her outfit.

She was at the Kelana Jaya police station yesterday to report incidents of harassment by a stalker at the booth she had set up for the Anime Fest at Paradigm Mall this past weekend.

According to Malaysiakini, Petaling Jaya district police chief Mohamad Fakhruddin Abdul Hamid said that the police officer in question is currently being investigated for a disciplinary infraction.

The cosplayer, Pudds, was attending the Anime Fest in Paradigm Mall over the weekend when the harassment by a stalker occurred at her booth, where she was doing meet-and-greet sessions for fans.

She said that the stalker “has stalked me for a while now, both online and in physical events. He even trailed me to my car in the parking lot.”

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