Safe spaces needed for sexual harassment victims to come forward

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Sisters in Islam refer to the statements made by Rantau Panjang MP YB Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff against Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah with regard to the cause of sexual harassment in this article.

Sexual harassment is a serious and traumatic violation to the victim, and one which is never invited. Therefore, to imply that women should dress in a certain way in order to avoid sexual harassment, not only infringes on her freedom to express herself but also relegates the maturity of us as a modern society.

Sisters in Islam firmly supports the motion put forward by Maria Chin that safe spaces need to be established for victims of sexual harassment to feel comfortable about coming forward. We believe that an important component in creating this safe space is to recognise that how women dress is not an invitation or excuse for sexual harassment.

It is important that discussions around the issue of sexual harassment are focused towards policies that can contribute towards positively changing our culture to one that respects women.

Along with that we also need policies that support the creation of environments within the public and private sectors and spheres where sexual harassment is not tolerated instead of policies that fault the dress codes of certain occupations.

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