Mon, Feb 23, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Rights group complains about Fung rape matter

CARELESS The Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women's Rights accuses the media and government offices of not handling the matter with the proper care

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A women's rights group yesterday complained that government offices and the media did not handle rape allegations against former New Party lawmaker Elmer Fung (馮滬祥) carefully or properly. Their carelessness caused the victim to be violated twice, the group said.

"Our research shows that the Taipei City Government's Department of Labor and the Department of Social Welfare's Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault should be blamed," said Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻), chairwoman of the Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women's Rights.

Wu said that under the rape-victim protection system, the police, the labor department, local hospitals and the center are supposed to alert each other and update their latest information once a rape victim reports to any one of them. Social workers, police officers, labor officials and medical doctors will then provide help to the victims. However, in this case, the center and the department did not do their jobs as they were supposed to.

According to Wu, the victim, who was only identified as Rose, reported to the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) on Jan. 23 that she had been raped by Fung. Accompanied by the office's employees, Rose went to Mackay Memorial Hospital for help and reported to the police. The police alerted the center around 5pm on Jan. 24. The hospital, however, did not do so until Jan. 26.

However, the labor department was not alerted at all until its officials received a fax from the MECO on Jan. 27.

"As a result, it is our understanding that Rose was not helped by any social workers or government officials," Wu said.

The center's director, Tung Fu-chuan (童富泉), immediately responded yesterday afternoon that the center did not alert the labor department because it was Rose's wish they not to do so.

In the meantime, Broadcasting Development Fund CEO Connie Lin (林育卉) said that media coverage of the story has leaked too much information about Rose, which was not acceptable.

"What Rose looks like, how Rose sounds and how Rose was raped were all described in detail in newspapers for the past couple of days," Lin said.

"It seems to me that the media have mentally raped Rose again," she said.

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