Interview by San Po Yan 新報人 on Sexual Violence against Men

Mr Gordon Chan shared his view on sexual violence against men by San Po Yan 新報人, a publication by journalism students from HKBU.

In the interview, Mr Gordon Chan discussed the current gender-specific nature of sexual offences and the latest efforts of law reform in these areas.

Modern jurisprudence recognises that anyone can be a victim of sexual crimes. Thus, the laws have been revamped in many jurisdictions, including the UK, where the statutes in Hong Kong were based and can be dated back to 1956.

An example is rape under s 118 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap 200). By definition, only a man can rape a woman but not vice versa:

A man who rapes a woman shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life.

In Hong Kong, the problem with our archaic sexual offences has long been recognised. The Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong issued 3 consultation papers on this in 2012, 2016 and 2018 and published their report “Review of Substantive Sexual Offences” in December 2019. In the Report, the LRC made a bucket of recommendations. However, up to this day, only some of them were implemented. These include the creation of new offences of voyeurism and unlawful recording of intimate parts, such as  “upskirt photography”. However, we have yet to see the much-needed substantive reform towards a gender-neutral regime.

Violence against men, sexual or not, is a long-neglected but real problem. Implementing the law reform would be the right step to right the wrong.

Interview by San Po Yan 新報人 on Sexual Violence against Men
Gordon Chan avatar
Gordon Chan, Esq

Barrister of the High Court of Hong Kong. Member of the Bar Association's Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure. Specialised in medical, technology and criminal law.

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