A quarter of Singaporean women have experienced sexual harassment

Kim HoPR Manager
July 30, 2019, 6:58 AM GMT+0

Half of sexual harassment incidents go unreported

Latest YouGov Omnibus research finds that a quarter (26%) of Singaporean women have experienced sexual harassment, compared to one in ten (9%) men.

Of those who have faced sexual harassment, only half (52%) reported or told someone about the incident. Women are more likely to report an incident than men (56% vs. 40%). Amongst those who reported the incident, most told a friend (54%) or family (41%) about being sexually harassed, rather than the police (19%).

The main reason people choose not to report sexual harassment is embarrassment (42%), fear of repercussion (30%) and feeling that no one will do anything about the problem (29%).

The most experienced form of sexual harassment faced is sexual assault (61%). This is followed by verbal comments of a sexual nature (44%), persistent and unwanted invitations of a sexual nature (27%) and unsolicited messages of a sexual nature (19%).

To avoid being sexually harassed, half (49%) of Singaporean women regularly take precautions. A nearly-equal number (47%) of men say they do not take any precaution.

The most common ways people take precautions are avoiding certain areas (68%), avoiding / minimising interaction with strangers (58%) and avoiding being out at certain times (48%). Men are more likely to learn self-defence skills than women (28% vs 18%), and women are more likely to dress a certain way than men (58% vs. 28%) to prevent sexual harassment.

Overall, half (48%) of Singaporeans are aware of the #MeToo movement. Almost two thirds (64%) think the movement makes people more open to talking about sexual harassment. One in six (16%) think it makes no difference, and 5% think it makes people less open. The remaining 15% are undecided.

Jake Gammon, Head of Omnibus APAC at YouGov Omnibus commented: “Due to a lack of official statistics surrounding sexual harassment in Singapore, we wanted to find out how prevalent the issue was. What is surprising is the number of sexual harassment cases that go unreported, and the reasons behind it. It’ll be interesting to see if these figures change in an age of #MeToo.”

***Results based on 1,045 Singaporeans surveyed on YouGov Omnibus