About 40% of sexual assault cases from 2017 to 2019 involved victims below 16

SINGAPORE – About 40 per cent of sexual assault cases reported to the police from 2017 to 2019 involved victims below the age of 16.

In those three years, there were 6,988 reports of sexual assault, including rape, sexual assault by penetration, outrage of modesty, and sexual offences involving children and vulnerable victims, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said on Tuesday (Jan 5).

In these cases, 2,798 victims were below 16, and 1,000 victims were between 16 and 20 years old.

Another 3,685 victims were aged 21 and older, while 390 victims were employed as foreign domestic workers.

The number of victims does not tally with the total number of cases, as a case could involve more than one victim, or a victim could be involved in more than one case.

Of all the reports made, 1,368 cases resulted in prosecutions, with 931 convictions to date.

Mr Shanmugam gave these figures in a written response to parliamentary questions filed by Ms Raeesah Khan and Ms He Ting Ru, who are both MPs for Sengkang GRC.

They had asked for statistics related to sexual assault cases, including the age profile of victims, the proportion of repeat offenders and the nature of relationships among those involved.

Mr Shanmugam said that the majority of cases – 2,957 out of 6,988 – were between strangers, followed by 2,243 cases between friends.

Another 619 cases were between colleagues, including supervisors and subordinates, and 47 involved professionals and clients.

A total of 599 cases were between relatives, including non-biological relatives, and 109 involved teachers and students. Teachers include tutors, coaches and related roles.

Another 414 cases occurred between people with other types of relationship, such as neighbours.

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Mr Shanmugam also said that from 2005 to 2019, a total of 4,606 offenders were convicted of sexual assault offences.

Of these, 1,364 offenders had previously been convicted of sexual assault offences and another 1,078 of other offences.

In response to Ms Raeesah, Mr Shanmugam said that his ministry does not track the use of alcohol, drugs, or the prevalence and diagnosis of psychiatric conditions, in relation to sexual assault offenders.

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