HKFP: 'It was mentally traumatising': Sexual violence survivors call for one-stop crisis centres at Hong Kong public hospitals

The aftermath was almost as traumatic as the incident itself. After Miu was sexually assaulted, she spent 13 long hours with emergency services. A social worker from local sexual violence crisis centre RainLily had accompanied her to the police first where, for eight hours, she recalled the incident in painful detail.

Then, she was shuffled on to the emergency department for two hours for medical treatment, followed by an hour with police to locate the perpetrator. But her ordeal was far from over. She then spent an additional two hours being probed by forensic medical examiners, and another hour at the hospital for a final clinical check-up.

The experience left Miu exhausted. “Being sexually assaulted is not something that someone can talk about lightly, and I hardly wanted to be reminded of it again,” she told HKFP. “But each of these procedures repeatedly asks [me] the same questions. It was mentally traumatising.”

According to police statistics, 65 cases of rape and 1,077 cases of indecent assault were reported in 2017. While 55 cases of rape and 943 cases of indecent assault were reported from January to October in 2018.

Established in 2000, RainLily is a one-stop rape crisis centre for female victims of sexual violence in Hong Kong, providing crucial support to survivors around the clock. 

According to a spokesperson, RainLily – set up by the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women – supported 286 new cases of gender-based violence between April 2017 and March 2018, providing counselling, immediate medical support, and necessary pro bono legal advice to plug the gap left by public services.