I just got back from the police station, after lodging a report for sexual harassment. Yep.
So there I was, driving back from work minding my own business, when I noticed a fat Indian man wearing a black Hard Rock cafe tee on a motorbike who seemed to be tailing my car.
He was driving neither too fast nor too slow – just cruising along right next to my car on the highway.
At first I didn’t pay much attention because I was on the main road, mind you, with lots of cars. It was about 6pm. But when I got along a fair distance, I noticed that he seemed to be taking the exact same turns that I was.
Now I’m a journalist, and I report on things that some people may not like so it’s natural that I can get paranoid. My first thought was oh god, A) did someone hire this guy to tail me coz they wanted to get back at me for writing something OR B) He plans to rob me. Smashing the passenger seat window to grab a bag is very common in Kuala Lumpur. I didnt have my bag on the seat, but under it. Still, nothing a long hand couldn’t reach.
So I tried to lose the bugger. The traffic wasn’t heavy and he was still following me even though I sped up or slowed down, always just a little behind or next to my car. I decided to make a U-turn to shake him off, and he STILL followed. I did ANOTHER U-turn and there he was! Now I knew something was up, so I turned around slightly, slowed down and stared the bugger in the eye.
He was caught out and pretended to point at my car tyres, indicating that something was wrong with it. I did not stop, but slowed down and rolled down my window by an inch, shouting at him, “Why are you following me?”
Fatbastard: Ur car (unintelligible) came out! Pull over!
Me: Nononono. Go away. I’ll check it later. You don’t have to follow me.
Me: Go away and stop following me! If you don’t I’ll call the police!
Fatbastard: Tetek lu sangat besar! (Malay for ‘your boobs are really big’)!
And THEN he sped off before I could run down the mofo.
The ‘conversation’ was over in just a few seconds, and the thing that I’m so mad about isn’t just that he said that but because I had my hands on the wheel and couldn’t take my phone out from my bag to record this jackass and make him viral-famous.
Slightly shaken, I made sure that he was nowhere in sight before driving back home.
Note: I was not dressed sexily. I was in a simple maroon-coloured dress with no sleeves. Now before some idiots come here and start victim blaming, note that rapes happen even to nuns who are covered up from head to toe, so shut your face. I was dressed decently, and that should be good enough for everyone.
Upon arriving home, I related the incident to my parents. I was fuming mad. I told them I wanted to lodge a police report.
What is super disheartening is that my parents, while they did not outright tell me that I shouldn’t do it, were clearly discouraging of me going to the police. My dad went: “Oh… it’s not like they’re going to do anything anyway…” and my mum went “If you’re going to do that, change out of that shirt and into ‘something more decent’”.
Why? Why are my own parents so brainwashed by society that they are afraid that going to the police will cause shame? Why are they blaming this incident on what I wear? This is the exact reason why some young girls are afraid to come out and say that they have suffered harassment.
Yes, there are cases where young women who have been harassed have reportedly been harassed by policemen themselves, who blame them for wearing skimpy clothes, or doing something that attracted the attention of males, etc.
But I BELIEVE (no matter what anyone else tells me) that it is NEVER the victims fault. She can parade outside in a bikini for all I care, the law is the law and sexual harrassment is wrong. There is absolutely no justification for it.
To be fair, my dad followed me to make a report after I insisted that I wasn’t gonna take this lying down. The policemen from the Putra Prima police beat were obliging, but told me that they wont be able to take any action other than putting in a report. I said that was fine, because I understood that I did not have any video evidence: but I just wanted it on record in case anything happens in the future. I pulled no punches, detailed it word for word even though my dad was like “do you reallyyyy have to tell the police the exact things he said?’ and I was like hellyeah itsketerangan saksi, okay? I see no reason why I should feel ashamed. If anything its that piece of shit who should feel ashamed. And get hit by a truck in the process. And have his guts ripped out. And die a slow, painful death. If possible, I would personally oversee putting him waist down with straps into a box full of hungry rats. Yeah.
So I got my report, to which the police said they will keep in the database for future reference.
I ranted on my FB, and one of my friends’ said that the same thing happened to her just recently (someone tailing her car and indicating that something was loose and telling her to pull over) but she was lucky it was raining heavily and he buggered off. “But I didn’t make a police report because no action would have been taken anyway..” was her comment.
Here’s the other thing about Malaysians: they like to complain that these cases happen, but then they dont bother lodging a police report – then claim that the police aren’t doing anything. How the fuck are they supposed to when you don’t help out?
I know the feelings of helplessness. I have awfully shitty luck. This isn’t my first sexual harassment case. I was molested on the train when I was about 18 or 19 while riding it alone to college, because I fell asleep and awoke to some disgusting middle aged uncle next to me (even though carriage was quite empty and had lots of seats) with his hand around my butt.
I called the fucker out and shouted at him, but nobody came to help me because there was only a young Malay girl sitting opposite my carriage and she was alone as well. I shouted at him that he was to get down at the next station and I was going to make a police report. But when we did and I approached the station master, the guy told me not to ‘make a fuss’ as I ‘didnt have evidence’. Guess what? The fucker got away. He’s probably still roaming the trains pawing at young girls who don’t dare to speak up for themselves now.
It’s sad that a society blames sexual harrassment on its victims.
One should never be afraid to stand up for yourself. Because these perverts? They are cowards. Protect yourself as best as you can, be alert and don’t take it from anyone that it is ever, EVER your fault.