A horrific case of rape is making the news globally after what one of the alleged attackers texted his friends was revealed, showing that, perhaps, these stories happen much more often than we are led to believe.
Three British men of Vietnamese descent are being accused of gang-raping a Malaysian woman in a Singapore hotel room on Sept. 10, 2016. Khong Tam Thanh, 22, Le Michael, 24, and Vu Thai Son, 24, were in Singapore for a bachelor party, attending the electronic music festival Ultra Singapore while in the city-state.
Son allegedly texted his and his friends' group chat saying: “Who's next?” at some point. In another text message, Son said, “every man looking to go in at once.” He said the first message was about who was going to use the bathroom while the second message was a "joke."
While at a popular Singapore nightspot, the men met the Malaysian woman partying with a friend. At some point, the woman agreed to go with one of their friends, another British citizen named Richard Ahn, to his hotel room to have sexual relations with him.
After the two had intercourse, however, Son, Michael, and Thanh reportedly entered the room and took turns raping the woman, who was drunk and unconscious.
The victim allegedly woke up as Michael assaulted her.
“Having consented to having sexual intercourse with one individual, she was then raped by three other men,” Deputy Public Prosector G. Kannan told the court. “Intoxicated and asleep, she was unaware of what was going on around her. She was taken advantage of and raped in quick succession by the three.”
Because of this despicable act of abuse, the three men could face 20 years in jail and caning, which involves hitting the prisoner with a single cane for a particular amount of time.
The Malaysian victim, a marketing and corporate communications officer, lives in Johor Bahru, a southern Malaysian city that borders Singapore. Her name hasn't been revealed due to a court order.
At least one of the three attackers claims he and the victim had consensual sex.
Son told the court that the woman had said “naughty things” to him while they were having sex, contradicting the claims the men took turns attacking her.
It's terrifying to think that this could happen to anyone. Still, there are many people who will use the excuse that the victim was intoxicated to make the claim that the act wasn't an assault, blaming the victim instead of targeting the attacker.
It's high time we change this paradigm and start focusing on going after those who take part in abuse so that others are discouraged from acting the same way.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji