A social media post about a woman being sexually assaulted on the LRT recently gained traction on Twitter, spurring many to share similar stories of abuse and even some calls for the perpetrator’s penis to be chopped off.
The victim’s story was first posted by a friend of hers on Twitter; it has garnered more than seven thousand retweets and likes since it was shared on Tuesday.
in within 24 hours, my bestfriend got SA by 2 different men, physically and online. it breaks my heart to see another woman i love not feeling safe to go to work. she was wearing an appropriate working attire, a loose long skirt, full covered hijab. pic.twitter.com/icLKFSFsoI
— Q⁷ (@balqiszairul) August 9, 2022
The post highlighted that people get sexually assaulted regardless of what they wear, considering that, when the assault took place, the victim was wearing a hijab and was covered from head to toe.
The tweet also included a screenshot of the comments made by one of the victim’s male friends regarding the incident in which he downplayed the situation and tried to blame the victim in a rather disgusting manner.
He said: “Did he feel your butt or did rub his penis against your butt? Maybe he could not control himself looking at your nice butt. Have you made a police report? Maybe you should.”
Meanwhile, social media users, especially women, expressed their disappointment in men and said they fear being in the same situation.
Some said if they had been in that situation, they would have said something or shouted at the man.
“Be brave. If you wanna shout or confront them it’s okay too. Especially girls, don’t be scared!
If it was me, I would have confronted the guy.”
The majority of commenters condemned the culprit and reminded the public not to blame the victim as it clearly showed that sexual assaults can take place no matter what you wear.
“If I see stupid people asking about the attire, i’m gonna smack the shit out of you.”
The victim, who did not wish to be named in this article, told Coconuts that the incident occurred on Tuesday at around 6:20 pm when she took the LRT headed towards Setiawangsa and was caught in a packed train with nowhere to sit and barely any space to stand.
“As the train was arriving, I noticed there was a man in a white t-shirt and short pants who quickly walked closer towards me and he ended up standing behind me.”
“And then while we were on the train, I felt something rubbing against my butt, at this point I felt so scared and as I turned to look at the man, he just acted like nothing happened,” the victim said.
The victim recalled moving further away from the man and while he was still trying to get near to her, he took the opportunity to do the same thing to another woman.
The victim said it was also odd that the train was moving and the perpetrator was not holding on to anything for stability which is what most people would do. Instead, he was mostly using his hand to cover his genital area.
As her ride came to an end, the victim said she walked out of the train and noticed that the man followed her, however, this time, he stayed at the station to wait for the next train, possibly the one going the opposite direction.
“I feel anxious but that’s my only mode of transportation so I can only try my best to be brave and independent enough. Right now, my friends have been checking in on me and have been accompanying me to work,” she said, adding that she will lodge a police report later but did not discuss further.
Many responded to the tweet by sharing their own stories of sexual assault. In fact, another woman named Dee also shared her experience of being sexually assaulted on the LRT the very same day.
Quoting the viral tweet, she said it happened yesterday while she was taking the train from Wangsa Maju to Pasar Seni while she was wearing a pair of leggings, a shirt and a jacket – her everyday work attire.
She said since the train was packed, she had to stand and next to her was an elderly man who stood very close to her and kept rubbing his body against her back.
Upon realising what was happening, Dee turned her body sideways to stop him from doing that, instead the man did not budge and continued rubbing his chest against her left arm.
He did not stop until she reached her destination which was KLCC.
A 2021 survey by the Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS) found that more than 50% of Malaysian women between the ages of 18 and 30 have directly experienced some form of sexual harassment. A 2022 Ipsos survey showed that 35% of Malaysian women feel that sexual harassment is the most pressing issue facing women in the country.