WP's Raeesah Khan lied about accompanying rape victim, reveals she is survivor of sexual assault

She said she shared the anecdote of another person without their consent.

Jane Zhang | November 01, 2021, 04:29 PM

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In Parliament on Nov. 1, Workers' Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Raeesah Khan admitted to previously lying in Parliament, and apologised for her actions.

This was in reference to a previous statement she made on the details of a sexual assault case, that she alleged was mishandled by the police.

Previous speech

On Aug. 3, Khan gave a speech on the Workers' Party's motion on empowering women.

In it, she said that three years ago, she accompanied a 25-year-old rape survivor to make a police report, who then emerged from the police station crying, as an officer had allegedly made comments about her dressing and the fact that she had been drinking.

Khan was subsequently pressed by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam on Oct. 4 to divulge more information pertaining to the claim, and police later stated that they could not identify such a case or the officers allegedly involved.

In a speech in Parliament on Monday (Nov. 1), Khan admitted that she had not been present with the woman whose anecdote she had shared, and rather had heard the survivor share it in a women's support group of which Khan herself had been a part.

Khan had herself been sexually assaulted

In her statement on Nov. 1, Khan shared that she had attended the support group because she herself is a survivor of sexual assault, having been sexually assaulted when she was 18 years old and studying abroad.

"That assault has traumatised me, till this day. The fear and shame accompanying sexual assault is extreme and long lasting, as it has been, and still is, for me."

She continued:

"Unlike the survivor whose anecdote I shared in this House, I did not have the courage to report my own assault, yet as a survivor, I wanted so deeply to speak up and also share the account I had heard when speaking on the motion without revealing my own private experience."

Apologised to survivor, Singapore Police Force

Khan added that she should not have shared the survivor's anecdote without her consent, and she also should not have claimed that she accompanied her to the police station when she had not done so. "It was wrong of me to do so," she said.

"To survivors of sexual violence, I hope that this does not deter you from reporting your assaults.

In sharing an anecdote without consent, I disregarded the principle of consent in discussions around survivors, consent, and sexual assault. As a survivor myself, I feel this failure deeply."

She also said that it is important for her to take responsibility for her actions, for her "error of judgement", and to set the record straight: "I wish to correct the record by retracting the anecdote that I shared on the third of August, and I wish to apologise to the Singapore Police Force."

Khan ended her statement by saying:

"Lastly, I want to apologise to the survivor whose quote I used, to the House, to my constituents, to the Workers' Party, its members and volunteers, and to my family, especially to my parents.

To the residents of Sengkang: I'll work even harder for you."

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Top photo via CNA.