Thursday, February 14, 2013

Speech at the Launch Event of Speak for Humanity

February 14, 2013

First of all, I would like to thank Speak for Humanity for inviting me to this very meaningful initiative that I feel deserves much more attention. Sexual violence can pose lasting damage for not just the victims, but also their extended families, networks and communities. In our society, as in many other cultures, the plight of sexual offence victims is neglected by many, not to mention those who try to stigmatize or give a bad name to their suffering. The fact that these negative attitudes still exist in this day and age is a shame.

This kind of attitude must change, and there is no better time to take action than right now. We cannot simply avoid much needed conversation on how to better protect the victims, or ignore the tremendously detrimental consequences on sexual offence survivors and depriving them of the support that they need to rebuild their lives once again. That is why I fully support the Speak For Humanity initiative and especially appreciate their approach of using dialogue and engagement as well as using the Internet as tools to raise awareness and strive for change to this matter of global concern.

I hope that these events will be the start of a tide of change – in people's mindset, awareness and actions. And there's no better day to launch it than today, February 14, Valentine's Day, a day marked with love and care for our partners and people around us.

The impact can be even wider, from a legislator's point of view, as the public ought to realize the significance of the reform on sexual offence legislations that the Law Reform Commissions has recommended and our legislature is reviewing. As a society we need to work together not just on the legal aspect, but to empower the victims and build a culture that recognizes their need and provides acceptance and support where needed, as well as educates for prevention in the first place. I wish this initiative every success. Thank you.


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