By Howard Lee
MediaCorp Artiste Zoe Tay and comedian Judee Tan have put their names and faces behind the Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC), announced by gender equality group AWARE in May this year, by releasing two online videos yesterday.
The videos will be the first of several planned video releases accompanying a newly launched crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise S$30,000 in support of the SACC.
Donations will go towards building the drop-in centre, where an on-site social worker can assist clients immediately even if they walk in without an appointment.
The videos included interviews with sexual assault victims who related some of the emotions they went through, and how receiving a helping hand, at times by talking to someone and receiving counselling, helped them survive the ordeal.
SACC is Singapore’s first and only specialist service supporting women who face sexual assault, and was preceded by AWARE’s Sexual Assault Befrienders Service (SABS).
“In 2013, 192 women contacted SABS – a 45% jump from the year before,” said Ms Corinna Lim, AWARE’s executive director. “This year we have already heard from 124 women, and the demand shows no sign of slowing. We urgently need donations to refurbish our drop-in centre and continue providing our safe, free and confidential services.”
The crowdfunding campaign, AWARE’s first, was launched last evening at the Crystal Ball, the group’s annual fundraising gala event, which also hosted the annual AWARE Awards, aimed at honouring individuals and groups who have promoted gender equality in Singapore.
Award recipients include two young activists – Vanessa Ho, 26, an advocate for the rights of sex workers, and Theodore Chen, 13, and advocate against bullying.
Law firm WongPartnership received the corporate award for its high proportion of women in senior management positions.
The tongue-in-cheek Alamak Award went to Lim Tit Ming, chief executive officer of the Singapore Science Centre, for a disparaging email he sent to his staff members on International Women’s Day.
SACC also operates a helpline (6779 0282) and email support ([email protected]). The centre provides free legal advice by an experienced lawyer, therapeutic counselling by specialists and befriender services, where a trained befriender accompanies clients to the police station, hospital or court, providing support through processes which can often be difficult and intimidating.
Donations to the crowdfunding effort can be made online at www.sacc.causevox.com.