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This post was edited by SherrySongSHSF at 2017-7-22 16:26|
They are more troublesome than drunks, more bothersome than leaflet distributors and much more worrisome than train malfunctions. They lurk beneath the city grid like rats, while cornering their victims in subway cars like wolves among a flock of powerless sheep. They are the storied metro perverts - sinister threats for women and girls who ride the rails.
“I can touch whoever I like!”
A sex offender blustered after being busted by three transit cops who witnessed him rubbing up against a woman on a subway car in Beijing on July 15.
The officers said they were on patrol when they saw the man following her onto the train and rub his crotch against the woman’s backside repeatedly. They intervened, separating the two and placing him under arrest.
Cultivating a “target-rich” environment, crowded buses and subways are ideal for seasoned predators or newbie opportunists looking to touch, rub, grope and expose with little fear of reprisal.
Lewdness, unwanted touching, inappropriately taking photos and videos is happening on every metro line. Horror of horrors, some are even organized. According to recent coverage, some subway perverts have been exposed as collective crimes.
Since July, the concerning trend of the increase in reports of sexual assaults on the subway has spurred the establishment of a local police detachment specifically targeting “subway perverts” and making arrests in Beijing. More than 30 offenders have been arrested so far.
The preliminary success of the activity exemplifies the government’s pragmatic methods. However, compared to the real number of the victims (mostly under-reported), the reported arrests play an inadequate role in dealing with such severe situations.
Break the silence
“Why don’t you say something?”
This is a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer when posed to sexual assault victims.
With the silence, the gropers, the stalkers and the underskirt voyeurs continue to prey on victims with their sickest inclinations.
Previously, many victims have stayed silent, unable to talk about their experiences in a society that tends to trivialize this phenomenon. But people start to change as more people speak up against it.
However, popular attitudes in China towards public transit assault can be seen as a microcosm of those toward sexual assault generally. Narratives tend to focus on what the woman needs to do, or how she needs to behave, rather than mentioning long-standing gender inequality. Bystander involvement and systemic change need to happen for victims to not feel ashamed and complicit.
The media wrongfully instills fear about false accusations and creates a distraction from the problem of sexual assault. It discourages victims from even talking about it, let alone reporting. Victims are spending more time questioning themselves: “Do I wear inappropriate clothing? Am I overreacting? What will happen if I yell?
Besides, the price of committing a sexual assault on public transit is little. Most offenders merely face administrative detention for up to 15 days. Victims remain afraid as a criminal’s guilty conscience fades away.
To raise awareness, sympathy for victims of sex assault could help break silence. However, it also requires our society to speak out and fight against harassers. On one hand, awareness of self-protection and self-defense should be widely spread; on the other, more legislative methods should be applied to pragmatically buoy and empower both victims and vulnerable groups.(news from chinadialy)