"She didn‘t report to the HR or at least to her husband about getting harassed by her boss. Because she can't risk to lose her job."
The above statement is from Reddit where a woman shared her story of getting harassed by her boss yet she couldn't do anything about as it involved her livelihood and her husband's job as well. Here is a snippet of her stories:"Her usual smile just fell off and she confessed that he's been doing that to her for a few years now. Demanding to meet at odd places, offering to give her a ride home (even though her husband work in the very same building), and worst of all, playfully dragging her into the walk-in chiller and leaving marks on her arms by gripping too hard. All she could do was struggle and run before things went bad."Why is this norm happening in Malaysia?The law is not protecting the victim enoughSome laws provide some outline of the scope of sexual harassment yet it's not comprehensive enough. The relevant sexual harassment law can be found in the Penal Code and Employment Act. Yet, both laws have great flaws. 1. Penal Code- It does not really punish the harasser as there would be only a fine to be imposed on them. It does not protect the victim if the harasser still works in the same company. The sad reality is victim usually the one gets the stigmatization and victim shaming after the tragic incident. Also, there isn't a right way to investigate sexual harassment case by the police. The authority did not have a proper guideline for the police officer to handle specifically to sexual harassment cases. Try to imagine a victim needs to tell her story in details over and over again during the investigation. For the police officer that unfamiliar with the procedure, it is akin to make the victim relive the horrible experience again. This process can be so hurtful and detrimental to the victim and cause them to drop the charge against the harasser. 2. Employment Act-It is not mandatory or compulsory for the employer to practice workplace sexual harassment code of practice. For instance, if the employer did not feel like the case is worth investigating, he or she could choose to let it go. As the law is voluntary, it doesn't compel the employer to do so. If you have a bad boss that doesn't care about your well being, essentially you will not be protected.Read the UM Legal Review and WAO article for more information.Men could be the victim as wellHere are some male victim's stories from Reddit for the reference:1. When my bf was 5, he was playing with his neighbour who was 16. Things were normal, until one day when they were in the lift and that dude took out his pants, spread his cheeks, and asked my bf to lick his asshole.2. An older guy flashed at my male friend when he was a kid.Whether or not these stories are real, we definitely do not want this to happen to any guy. But, it is important to know that, these incidents are definitely happening out there. Society is more likely to be oblivion to male victims as most of the harassment cases were from women. Also, there is this sickening mentality of the society that men are strong and it's impossible to harass a man. Because of this sickening mentality, it makes the male victim even more difficult to seek help and tell the truth. The truth is men can feel uncomfortable and get harassed by people as well. Here is what you could do1. Sign the petition created by AWAM Malaysia. You could either sign in person at their PJ office or sign this online petition. 2. Read more relevant articles or follow the relevant social media content to educate yourself. Follow WAO and AWAM Malaysia. Educate yourself on the right thing, such as what amount to sexual harassment instead of treating sexual harassment as unprofessional behaviour. Malaysian women's perception of sexual harassment is very different than what we imagined based on this article. 42% of women do not consider the act of stalking, to be a form of sexual harassment but classify it as unprofessional behaviour. Hence, it is important to know the right thing before you could protect yourself. You need to know that you are in danger before you could take any action.3. If you want to be heard, make a statement. Consistently. Start from telling to your family members about your incident, then report to the HR. If the HR didn't do something about it, discuss it with your colleagues. If the company/HR did not create a safe space for you, you create a safe space for your friends or colleagues. Let them realise that it is wrong to do to stay silent and encourage them to speak up. Speaking up might not guarantee that you will be heard, but not speaking up definitely let the harasser getaway. Speaking up or reporting to the HR is not making a big fuss. If you stay silent, your life is going to turn into a fuss. Cover Photo Source : China Briefing.com | Emplois specialises