A Hong Kong official has faced an angry backlash after implying that if women stopped drinking as much they wouldn't be raped.
Crime figures for the past quarter showed a 60% rise in rapes in the city. Seeking to explain the rise from 13 to 35 cases Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said:
"All of these (rape) cases happened between those who know each other. They are either friends, close friends or they just met a few hours ago," Mr Lai said reported AFP.
"Some of these cases also involved the victims being raped after drinking quite a lot of alcohol. So I would appeal that young ladies should not drink too much."
Tang Kong-sau of Rainlily, a Hong Kong charity campaigning against sexual assault, told Time Out that victims are already battling to get help because of rape myths.
He told the magazine: "Sexual matters are still a taboo. People don’t talk about them and the government doesn’t educate people on them. The result is that many of these victims dare not speak out and don’t know where to get help.”
Linda Wong, executive director of Hong Kong’s Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, told AFP: “The under-reporting of rape in Hong Kong is already very high and some of the reason is women feel that people will put all the blame on them,” she told AFP.
121 rapes were reported in Hong Kong in 2012, an 33% increase from 2011. The Security Bureau confirmed that the number of rapes in the first quarter had risen by 13 to 35, but did not comment further.