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SERATA: Stop normalizing sex with underage girls

Society for Equality, Respect And Trust for All (SERATA) is aghast at a recent article which highlighted the case of a young man being lured to part with his money for “a good time with a young school girl”. In this article, MCA Public Services and Complaints Department Datuk Seri Michael Chong was quoted as telling young men to be careful when meeting people on social sites, and that photos of women are just there to entice their customers.

“Sadly, telling young men to be careful on social sites is not addressing the root problem at all,” said Sabrina Aripen, founder of SERATA. “What such a response indicates is that seeking for women, especially underage girls, for sex is normal and perfectly acceptable. Instead of instilling in boys and men the values of respecting women and girls as people, this statement has downgraded women and girls as simply pleasurable objects for purchase at the right price.”

“Not to mention, sex with underage schoolgirls is statutory rape. This is something that Datuk Seri Michael Chong has failed to address,” Sabrina added. “Instead of protecting How by naming him as a ‘victim of extortion and threat’, how about labeling him as a ‘child sexual predator’?”

SERATA calls on political parties, and anyone who wishes to help in similar cases, to approach such issues without degrading women and girls and protecting child sexual predators. SERATA would also like to remind media outlets to be careful in wording articles that shifted the blame, as if men who buy women for sex are blameless and that being a child sexual predator is alright, such as the statement “he didn’t even get a glimpse of the girl” in the article.

“Normalizing sex with underage girls, or normalizing the buying of women and girls, should stopped. Everyone is responsible to change their messages to teach these men and boys to respect women and that seeking for underage girls for sex is a crime, instead of telling men and boys to be careful when socializing and seeing women and girls as objects that can be bought. Perhaps then we will have less of this problem,” Sabrina concluded.

SERATA is a nonprofit organization that promotes gender equality through engaging men and boys, especially in sharing household tasks and child caring.

Sabrina Aripen

Co-founder of Society for Equality, Respect And Trust for All (SERATA)

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