2,243 reported cases of sexual assault from 2017 to 2019 involved friends: Shanmugam

There were 6,988 reported cases of sexual assault in Singapore from 2017 and 2019.

Jane Zhang | January 06, 2021, 05:20 PM

There were 6,988 reported cases of sexual assault in Singapore from 2017 and 2019, 1,368 of which were prosecuted.

Out of these cases, 931 have resulted in convictions to date.

These statistics, and others pertaining to cases of sexual assault in Singapore, were shared by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam in a written reply to parliamentary questions posed on Tuesday (Jan. 5), by Workers' Party Members of Parliament (MPs) Raeesah Khan and He Ting Ru.

1,368 cases prosecuted and 931 convictions till date

Shanmugam stated that the 6,988 reports of sexual assault included rape, sexual assault by penetration, outrage of modesty, and sexual offences involving children and vulnerable victims.

Of these 6,988 cases, 1,368 were prosecuted and 931 cases — till date — have resulted in convictions.

Khan also asked for a breakdown of the nature of the relationships in which the sexual assaults occurred.

109 of the cases were between a teacher — including private tutors, coaches, and related roles, said Shanmugam — and a student.

619 cases were between colleagues, including supervisor and subordinate, and 47 were between professional and client.

599 of the reported sexual assaults were between relatives, including non-biological relatives, and 2,243 were between friends.

2,957 cases were between strangers, and 414 were between persons of other types of relationship, such as neighbours.

He also added that 390 victims were employed as foreign domestic workers.

2,798 victims were below 16 years old

Responding to He's questions about the age of the sexual assault victims, Shanmugam said that 2,798 were below the age of 16, 1,000 were between 16 and 20 years old, and 3,685 were above the age of 21.

Shanmugam noted that the number of victims does not tally with the number of cases, as a case could involve more than one victim, or a victim could be involved in more than one case.

Responding to a parliamentary question by MP Seah Kian Peng about whether there has been a "discernible increase" in the number of sexual misconduct cases in post-secondary and tertiary institutions in the last five years, Minister for Education Lawrence Wong said that there is no discernible trend in the incidence rate.

In a written reply, Wong said that over the five year period between 2015 and 2019, there were 205 disciplinary cases related to sexual misconduct involving staff or student perpetrators in pre-university institutions and institutes of higher learning (IHLs).

These cases include both those that occurred within and outside of schools and IHL campuses.

On average, said Wong, there were 0.13 sexual misconduct cases per 1,000 staff and students per year.

1,364 offenders between 2005 and 2019 had prior sexual assault convictions

Responding to Khan's question about repeat offenders, Shanmugam said that between 2005 and 2019, 4,606 offenders were convicted for sexual assault offences.

1,364 of them had previously been convicted for sexual assault offences, while another 1,078 were previously convicted for other offences.

He said that the government does not track the use of alcohol, drugs, or the prevalence and diagnosis of psychiatric conditions, in relation to sexual assault offenders.

Top photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels.