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WAO Statement on Assault of ASLI CEO Melissa Ong

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) condemns the violent attack committed against ASLI CEO, Melissa Ong, by a man posing as a member of the press.

“We are appalled by the egregious assault committed against Melissa Ong,” said WAO Executive Director, Sumitra Visvanathan. “It could have happened to me, or to any other woman.”

Women regularly face harassment and violence in public, whether at events or in public spaces, on the street, on public transportation, or on the road. WAO female officers have also been subjected to harassment and abuse on the job.

“Even while routinely facing violence and harassment, women continue to lead and inspire,” said Sumitra. “But it is outrageous that we need to constantly look over our shoulders while doing so.”

WAO thanks the police for taking swift action to apprehend the perpetrator, and calls on all Malaysians to reject violence against women and commit to building safe communities for all.

Every member of our society must stand together and send the message loud and clear that violence against women must end now.

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