CW: This article contains mention of sexual harassment

It seems that after over a year Fan Yun (范雲) and Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生) have buried the hatchet after Fan accused Chen of sexual harassment during a scuffle in the Legislative Yuan. 

During the incident Chen was behind Fan and rubbed his belly (which is quite large) on Fan’s back. She immediately filed sexual harassment charges against him and at the end of last year, the court ordered Chen to pay her NT$80,000. Fan donated all of the money to the Women’s Rescue Foundation (婦女救援基金會), to help other women who have been sexually harassed or abused.

Chen also visited Fan to apologize for his action. Fan said that hopes that Chen’s apology would lead more people to introspection and the capacity to do the same. She expressed her thoughts about other victims and the difficult that they contend with when trying to speak out about past abuses. She mentioned that she is a legislator and thus it is much easier for her to find people who will listen to her. Fan also used the moment to discuss the importance of gender equality education.

Fan stated that it is likely that Chen never received gender equality education and thus perhaps doesn’t understand concepts like physical boundaries. She also evoked the Gender Equality Education Act (性別平等教育法) which passed 18 years ago in Taiwan. The act seeks to promote gender equality and prevent sexual violence through education.

Fan reiterated that incidents like these are the reason that people need to speak out even stronger against gender discrimination and sexual harassment. That way we can “reduce the number of perpetrators and make victims more courageous to seek help and fight for fair treatment.” (如此才能減少加害人,也讓被害人更有勇氣求助與爭取公平對待。)

Hopefully this ugly event is a reminder for all of us to speak up when we see harassment or discrimination anywhere and at anytime. Also that we might push for a more equal society, void of such issues.