Friday, November 27, 2009

What to do if you're raped in Singapore.

ETA 23 July 2011: We regret to inform that Police Posts at the hospitals have been removed (cf. Straits Times, 15 July 2011, "All 6 hospital police posts closed down", Mavis Toh).

In this Porkchop's continued badly drawn efforts to bring you information you might need in case of emergency, I'm going to provide some porcine-weight, choi-ke-lei resources on seeking help in the event of rape or sexual assault, for all women and girls in Singapore.

Rape and sexual assault victims, I think, mostly don't think or know that they're going to be victimised like that. So it can happen to anyone.


I'll begin by first revisiting some knowledge shared by Ms Braema Mathi of the estimable Marauh in one of the videos by the No To Rape people, which strangely hasn't seen much circulation from the campaign:

It is important... to be timely and to keep evidence. Don't immediately have a bath. The natural instinct is to scrub yourself clean. Try and call a friend quickly, go to the doctor. Best to go to an emergency unit, because if you go to a GP, from a GP again you have to go to an emergency department.

Once you enter the hospital system, it is very good. The emergency doctors been trained. most hospital you will notice have a little police post [Ed: Please see update above] there... The link will be made. We have a rape investigation squad within the police force. And you'll find that the link will go back to the investigation squad and a lady will come up.

1) Kandang Kerbau (KK) Women's and Children's Hospital. Go To KKH immediately if you can.

Singapore's KKH specialises in WOMEN'S and children's health and support. A cursory search of their website reveals that they boost an "emergency obstetric & gynaecological consultations at KK Hospital's Women's 24-Hour Clinic". They also have a Medical Social Work that offers crisis intervention to "deal with trauma cases such as sexual assault, spousal violence, child abuse and attempted suicide".

Already, a lot of hospitals refer patients to KKH for when they need expert help in dealing with women health issues, so it is this Porkchop's conjecture that KKH will be the best place to seek help, though any emergency ward near would be just as good.

2) Get to the hospital! The point is to get into the hospital system quickly, so that the victim can quickly get the support and help she needs.

3A) Declare, Disease and Document. Declare the assault, check for disease and document all injuries.

In order for the medical professionals and social services to help effectively, victims are going to need to trust the system. It's going to be tough getting this to come out, but learn now that victims must tell the medical professionals what happened in no uncertain terms; even professionals need reminding since they don't receive rape victims every day. Declare the assault, demand tests for sexually transmitted diseases, and request that all your injuries and tests be documented so that evidence is kept as well.

3B) Emergency Contraceptive. EC, also known as the morning-after pill.

Our commenter kindly reminds us EC should be on the table. (We're not sure if these are offered to victims, but they are inexpensive and quite reliable if administered within a 72 hour post-incident window. Obviously, the sooner the better. [Hattip anonymous reader!]

Again, this is a very difficult process to undertake after suffering the trauma of assault, so I highly recommend thinking about the next idea.

4) Find The Friend. Establish some informed support points.

A radical idea for all my female hairless apes earth inhabitants, talk to one or two close friends or family members about emergency situations. Make a pact, who will help you, what must be done (e.g. where to seek help, 'Declare, Disease and Document', etc) and entrust each other to provide the immediate support you need if something bad happens. Under these dire circumstances, it might be better to depend on The Friend to take the necessary steps for you.

Increasingly we make deals with spouses and friends about death and incapacitation arrangements, so consider this another contingency.

5) Marital Rape. Report your having been assaulted anyway!

Even if marital rape is still not a fucking crime in Singapore, the medical experts and police can and probably will collect all the evidence and statements they need so that they may find other ways to nail the perpetrator. Though the obvious barrier will be actually mustering the power to reveal the information first.

6) Confidentiality. Your information will be kept confidential.

Medical and law enforcement agents are bound by a duty of confidentiality, so trust that what you tell them will be kept absolutely confidential.


KK Hospital Women's and Children's Hospital
100 Bukit Timah Road
Main Line (24-hrs) - (65) 6293 4044

Social Service for Violence

If you're experiencing family/ spousal violence of any sorts and need assistance, please contact these people:

Centre for Promoting Alternatives to Violence (PAVe)

Blk 211 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 #01-1446 Singapore 560211

Operating Hours:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays: 9.00am - 6.00pm
Wednesdays: 9.00am - 9.30pm (6.30pm - 9.30pm by appointment only)
Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays: Closed

Tel : 6555 0390
Email :

+ OR +

Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE)

Block 5 Dover Crescent #01-22, Singapore 130005

Tel : 6779 7137
Helpline : 1800-774-5935 (Mon-Fri, 1500hrs to 2130hrs)
Email :

Personal Protection Orders (PPO)

You can take out a PPO at the Magistrate Court or at one of the other 4 link centres. Learn more about taking out the PPO. I can't quite figure out the fee system, except that it's $1 for each summon issuance, but if I recall correctly, Minister of Law, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, claimed that it should be about 8 dollars to file a PPO.

From the website:

"If you have any police or medical reports, you should bring these with you. However, you do not need to have copies of such reports to file an application for a personal protection order."

"The Protection Order Services unit will arrange for the personal service of the summons on the Respondent by a Court process server at the address provided by you in your Magistrate’s Complaint."


Be kind, pass this along to a friend or family member, and be well.


  1. Question: Is providing EC also SOP at the hospitals' assault response places? :/

    Because if it isn't, it had damn well better be, and all that. :(

    Anyway, this is a good blog etc. - no, I tell a lie, it is fucking amazing. Keep it up! ^^

  2. Eh-oh Anonymous! Thanks for the highlight, I've added the EC note to the post. I'm not sure of the protocol to be honest, but let's just keep it on the table anyway.

    (I suppose Singapore's not like some other countries where some religiously-run institutes don't actually offer EC at all!)

  3. A 2006 article ("Access to emergency contraception", in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics) says that providing emergency contraception is not in Singapore's national assault-response guidelines, apparently.

    I've been using Google-fu and searching the MOH website, and I can't come up with anything. :x But even if it's not SOP, I really don't think that a request for it would be ignored, not in Singapore... :(

  4. Thanks for the research!

    This EC not being dispensed as part of assault response is very troubling the more I think about it. While EC is easy to acquire and relatively inexpensive (from what little I've learnt, it's about than 50 bucks, including medical consult and prescription), it's really awful to have to pay for being raped. It reeks of all sorts of "sorry, but you've got to pay for recognising your rights to bodily integrity". Plus, how ever inexpensive EC is, it's still money that some people might not have.


  5. What will happen if the criminal is leaving the country? Can the report effect a delay in the person's ability to flee justice?


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