Following the exchange with Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and Workers' Party Member of Parliament Raeesah Khan in Parliament on Oct. 4, 2021, the police gave an update on the claim made by Khan about her experience with a rape victim.
In the Oct. 20 press release, the police said that they could not identify such a case or the officers allegedly involved.
The full statement is as follows:
"On Aug. 3, 2021, Member of Parliament Ms Raeesah Khan said in Parliament that three years ago, she had accompanied a 25 year-old rape victim (lady) to make a police report. Ms Khan said that the victim had come out crying, because the Police officer had allegedly made comments about her dressing and the fact that she had been drinking.
The Police have made an extensive search, to look for the case. We could not identify such a case or the officers allegedly involved as stated by Ms Khan in Parliament.
On Oct. 4 2021, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam asked Ms Khan in Parliament to provide more information to assist the Police on the case, such as the police station, the month the report was filed and other details. Ms Khan declined to provide any details, citing confidentiality. The Minister said that the Police will ask Ms Khan to come for an interview.
The Serious Sexual Crime Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department, which investigates into rape offences, sent an email to Ms Khan on Oct. 7, 2021, requesting her to get in touch with the Police by Oct. 14, 2021, to arrange for an interview. The Police needed her to provide details on the case. She was assured that the Police would do everything possible to safeguard the victim’s identity from public disclosure. A reminder email was sent to Ms Khan on Oct. 15, 2021, to get in touch with the Police by Oct. 18, 2021.
The Police have still not heard from Ms Khan.
Ms Khan has so far not substantiated her allegations against Police officers with further details on the case.
As stated above, the extensive search done by the Police has not shown up any incident as described by Ms Khan, and we cannot confirm that such an incident actually took place."
In Parliament on Aug. 3, during her speech on the Gender Equality Motion, Khan said that it's just as important to improve support for survivors as it is to improve policies targeted at preventing sexual violence.
She added that while many institutions have moved to improve their support structures for survivors of sexual violence, this has likely varied among institutions.
She asked the Minister for Social and Family Development to share on current work done by the ministry and other government agencies to offer "robust and accessible" survivor support. She then said:
"In my line of work, I’ve accompanied people to police stations to make reports on sexual violence. It is already incredibly difficult for survivors to feel comfortable making a report in the first place, but sometimes the responses from those called to protect us can be disheartening. Three years ago, I accompanied a 25-year-old survivor to make a police report against a rape committed against her. She came out crying—the police officer had allegedly made comments about her dressing and the fact that she had been drinking."
Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan asked Khan to provide more details about the "serious allegation", and said that any questions raised about how the police have handled the case should be investigated.
Khan declined, saying she did not want to "re-traumatise" the person she accompanied.
Shanmugam asks Khan for details
In Parliament on Oct. 4, Shanmugam asked Khan to provide more details, saying the police have searched the records but have been unable to pull up a specific instance that matched Khan's claims.
Khan declined, citing "confidentiality".
Mothership has contacted the Workers' Party for comment.
Top image from Gov.sg YouTube channel.
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