If you are facing sexual harassment:
- Make it loud and clear to the perpetuator that you’re uncomfortable with their behaviour.
- If it happened at work, reach out to the necessary department (if there is one).
- Gather all the evidence you have, including SMS conversations or e-mails.
- Talk about what happened with another person. If they were present during the incident, they could support your case as witnesses.
If you are being stalked:
- Consider mediating the issue. While not all stalking cases can be solved through mediation, cases involving interpersonal relations (eg. neighbours, family, landlords, friends and coworkers) may be suitable. These are a few reasons you may prefer mediation:
- You’d be saving time. It typically takes 3-4 sessions for a dispute to settle during the mediation process, compared to cases in court which could take months to settle.
- You’d be saving costs. The costs of hiring a lawyer and having a court hearing outweigh the costs incurred during mediation.
- You’d be settling your case in confidentiality. The entire mediation process will be private, unlike cases taken to court, which are open to public.
In Singapore, the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA) protects people from cases of harassment and stalking. Should you feel that your situation requires more action taken, apply for a POHA order.
Here are a few places to reach out to and apply for an order:
- Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC)
Apart from counselling, the SACC also offers legal advice for victims of sexual assault. If you’re uncomfortable with going through the legal process alone, there are trained befrienders at SACC who will accompany you, provide important information, and extend the support you need.SACC’s helpline (6779 0282) runs 10am to midnight, from Monday to Friday. Alternatively, you may reach out to them via e-mail support, which runs everyday.
- State Courts of Singapore
If you prefer to handle this situation alone: Make a police report, and file a criminal complaint at the State Courts. Investigations will be made, and thereafter you can sue the harasser or stalker, and apply for a POHA court order.