The Zonta Club of Kowloon, Hong Kong, has always supported the Zonta Says NO campaign since it launched in 2012. After realizing that there was a scarcity of statistics on sexual and domestic violence in Hong Kong, the club decided to sponsor the “Hong Kong Women’s Experience of Violence 2021” research.
The Women’s Coalition on Equal Opportunities organized the research, and the lead researcher is Annie Chan from Lingnan University. Annie arranged the survey, which comprised of 1044 questionnaires that sexual and domestic violence survivors completed and 30 in-depth interviews.
The club held a virtual press conference on Rose Day to announce the findings and recommendations to the Hong Kong media. Their advice to combat sexual and domestic violence in Hong Kong were:
- The Hong Kong government should offer financial and housing support for women survivors and establish sexual violence crisis support centers.
- The Hong Kong government needs to improve flexibility in service provision and increase funding to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) serving women survivors.
- The Hong Kong government should review procedural guidelines for handling sexual violence cases, intimate partner violence cases and child abuse.
- The Hong Kong police should review the existing classification for domestic violence because cases are being under-reported, and the current numbers do not reflect the actual prevalence.
- The Equal Opportunities Commission should establish mandatory sexual harassment policies for companies and implement staff training.
- There is a need to improve policy, legal and professional training provisions. This would include modernizing family court, increasing training for personnel who work with women and speeding up reforms on sex crime legislation.
- There is a need to educate the public about sexual and intimate partner violence and equip women with information on women’s rights and relevant laws to protect them.
- There is a need to address sexual violence in public transportation and schools.
Many local media took interest, and their press conference was covered by 17 newspapers, radio and TV stations.
The club hopes that their recommendations will be helpful for the local government and other relevant bodies to incorporate into their planning and servicing models for the coming years.