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One in four women ride to MTR abuse

Beatrice Siu

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A quarter of women on the MTR have either been indecently assaulted or had secret snapshots taken of them, but none complained to police or railway staff.

That's a finding of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, which surveyed 537 respondents in October and November over sexual incidents on the subway.

Of the respondents, 139 said they have been molested or secretly photographed - including upskirt - with most incidents occurring during peak weekday hours, advocacy officer Elaine Lam Yee-ling said.

But none of the victims filed police reports or sought help from MTR staff. Instead, 45percent left their seats and 35percent pretended nothing happened.

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Around a third just stared at the offenders, and only 2percent yelled at them.

For those who did not raise a fuss, more than half worried they would be blamed, or not be believed by other passengers.

Twenty-four percent felt it was useless to seek help.

More than 10percent of respondents witnessed such incidents, but only 4percent took action.

Furthermore, only 11 victims said they were offered help.

Most believe sexual harassment is serious on the subway, and 92percent said MTR Corp has not done enough to prevent the offenses.

To encourage victims to report sex crimes, Lam urges the company to conduct promotions on speaking out, as well as reinforce police patrols, install more video cameras, and improve the design of escalators and lifts.

Meanwhile, a 40-year-old man was arrested after allegedly molesting a female passenger on a train from Lai King to Nam Cheong station at about 8.45am yesterday.


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