The Workers’ Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan has apologised in Parliament on Monday (Nov 1), saying she “was not present” at the police station during the sexual assault case she alleged was mishandled by the police.
She also revealed that she is a sexual assault survivor.
“I should not have shared the survivor’s story without her consent, nor should I have said that I accompanied her to the police station when I had not. It was wrong of me to have done so,” the 27-year-old told the House.
Image source: Screengrab from Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI)
On Aug 3, while taking part in a debate on empowering women, Raeesah claimed that she had accompanied a 25-year-old rape victim to the police station. In that account, which happened three years ago, she claimed the police officer interviewing the victim had made inappropriate comments about what the victim wore and the fact that she had been drinking.
The exchange in Parliament went viral after the Sengkang MP repeatedly declined to share more details.
The victim’s account, Raeesah told the House on Monday, was in fact shared in an anonymous support group for women, but she didn’t mention that earlier because she “did not have the courage to publicly admit” she was part of that group.
In her speech today, Raeesah said she was sexually assaulted at age 18 while studying overseas and that the incident traumatised her till today.
“The fear and shame accompanying sexual assault are extreme and long-lasting,” she said.
She shared that she “did not have the courage” to report her assault but urged survivors of sexual violence to do so. As a survivor, Raeesah said she wanted to speak up and share this account she heard when speaking on the Motion on Empowering Women.
She extended her apologies to the survivor she quoted, the Singapore Police Force, Parliament, her constituents, WP members and volunteers, her family and her parents.
On Oct 20, the police said they could not identify the sexual assault case that Raeesah raised in Parliament in August. “We cannot confirm that such an incident actually took place,” the police said in a statement, adding that she didn’t respond to provide more details on the case.
A few weeks earlier on Oct 7, the Criminal Investigation Department’s Serious Sexual Crime Branch, which investigates rape offences, had emailed Raeesah, requesting to arrange an interview with the police by Oct 14.
On Oct 4, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam had urged her to share more details of the alleged incident, including the rough date, police station as well as the police officers involved.
This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image source screengrab from Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
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