SINGAPORE — Between January 2018 and November 2022, there were 11,868 reports of sexual assault, which includes rape, sexual assault by penetration, outrage of modesty, and sexual offences involving children and vulnerable victims, said K Shanmugam Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law.

For the last year, January until November, there were 868 cases involving at least one victim under the age of 16, and 190 cases that were allegedly committed by family members or relatives.

2021 was the year with the highest reported sexual assault cases involving minors that were allegedly committed by family members or relatives, with 247 cases. Over the past five years, these cases have recorded a total of 932.

In his written reply to parliamentary question filed by Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC Leon Perera, K Shanmugam said a Sexual Crime and Family Violence Command will be set up by 2023 to provide more support to victims of sexual crime and family violence.

He announced last year that the new command would be staffed by police officers who have specialized expertise in handling sexual crime and family violence cases and who possess good victim management skills.

Meanwhile, the existing One-Stop Abuse Forensic Examination Centre will also have an added dedicated victim care area to 8 enhance privacy and convenience for sexual crime victims during investigation processes.

Mr Perera from Workers’ Party’s asked the Minister the percentage and number of sexual assault cases that have involved minors under the age of 16 over the past five years, and how many of these cases involving minors are committed by family members or relatives.

He further questioned the measures taken to support these victims of sexual assault.

K Shanmugam replied that the Police work with social service agencies to provide victims with counselling support and interventions during and after investigations.

“Throughout the course of investigations, if the victim consents, Police can activate volunteers under the Victim Care Cadre Programme (VCCP) to provide emotional support.”

“The Police also refer sexual assault victims to Care Corner Project StART, a family violence specialist centre which provides support to victims of violence, to augment the support provided under the VCCP, ” the Minister said.

The yearly breakdown of Number of Sexual Assault Cases is as follows:

  2018 2019 2020 2021 January – November 2022 Total
Number of Sexual Assault Cases 2414 2409 2212 2459 2374 11868
Number of Sexual Assault Cases involving at least one victim under the age of 16 850 885 940 1034 868 4577
Number of Sexual Assault Cases involving at least one victim under the age of 16, allegedly committed by family members or relatives 156 153 186 247 190 932

Father jailed last year for molesting daughter

Singapore media had reported in December last year that a 54-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to four years, 10 months and four weeks’ jail. He was accused for molesting his daughter repeatedly from when she was as young as 10 in 2011, and persisted until 2017.

As a result of the abuse, the victim suffered psychological damage and was diagnosed with adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Another 47-year-old man was reported to have pleaded guilty to luring multiple girls on Instagram to his home with offers of cash or a job, and later sexually assaulting them with sex toys.

At least four girls, aged between 13 and 17, responded to the man’s Instagram messages and went to his flat. He performed sexual acts on three of these girls, while the fourth managed to leave.

Another 54-year-old man was sentenced by the court this year to one year and eight months’ jail. He molested his stepdaughter between 2016 and 2019,  when she was between 17 and 20 years old.

According to Sexual Assault Care Centre, It is illegal to have sex with a person (male or female) under the age of 16, whether or not the minor says “yes” to the act, under Section 376A of the Penal Code.

If the minor is below 14, the offence is called statutory rape and perpetrators are liable to imprisonment for a term up to 20 years plus fine or caning.

Additionally, penetrative sexual activity with minors aged 16-18 within exploitative relationships (e.g. a teacher and a student) is also illegal, under Section 376AA of the Penal Code.

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