Sun, Apr 30, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Do not out assault victims: ministry

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

People should not repost personal information about sexual assault victims or “cyber-manhunt” on the Internet, but instead report the cases to government authorities to help protect victims, the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Department of Protective Services said.

The day after a promising young author was found dead in her home on Thursday from an apparent suicide, the publisher of her debut novel posted an article on its Facebook page, saying that her parents said the main character was created from her own experience of being raped by a teacher.

In response to the case, which triggered wide discussion in the media and online, the ministry released a statement urging people not to disclose or spread any information that could identify victims of sexual assault, either through traditional or social media.

Department Director Chang Hsiu-yuan (張秀鴛) said sexual assault is painful, as well as a serious threat to life and freedom, and some victims will suffer from the trauma long after the event.

While there were a total of 10,610 sexual assault cases reported last year, only 3,646 were handled through the judiciary, so many other people still need support, she said.

The department has commissioned the Garden of Hope Foundation and the Modern Women’s Foundation to establish two rehabilitation centers this year to provide support, counseling and treatment services for people who have been sexually assaulted, Chang said.

She said people should avoid any type of disclosure about the identity of sexual assault victims, or they might face a fine of up to NT$100,000, according to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act (性侵害犯罪防治法).

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