Target: Kevin Zervos, Director of Public Prosecutions in Hong Kong
Goal: Criticize the Director of Public Prosecutions in Hong Kong for blaming sexual assault victims and demand him to apologize.
Kevin Zervos, who is the Director of Public Prosecutions in Hong Kong, recently stated in an interview that first-time sexual assault offenders should be treated compassionately with less serious charges. He believes that sex crimes or incidents, as he refers to them, happen when a man gets carried away during social interactions. This statement was his response to an already existing criticism of Hong Kong’s prosecutors and judges who are accused of being overly lenient with sex offenders.
Hong Kong’s legal system is already merciful towards sex offenders making it easier to avoid incarceration. Sexual assault cases are often presented with two options for the victim; however, often the prosecutor makes the deciding decision on which one of those two to choose anyway. For a sexual assault in Hong Kong, the legal ramifications are either a fine or a so-called bind-over – a good behavior order under which charges are withdrawn as long as the offender agrees to abide by the court’s terms. However, even failure to comply with a bind-over is a measly penalty of six months of imprisonment.
As a prevention method for future rapes, Zervos stated that “men will actually respect women more if they see women showing compassion to them and realizing they are better off without a conviction”. This was his argument for establishing easier penalties if it is the attacker’s first offence.
Kevin Zervos’ statements are nothing but ignorant and irresponsible contributions to rape culture, and it is inappropriate for someone with such an important professional rank to be speaking against sexual violence victims. Sign the petition below to urge Kevin Zervos to apologize for his remarks and seriously re-consider Hong Kong’s justice system on sexual assault.
Dear Kevin Zervos,
Your comments during an interview for the Sunday Morning Post were incredibly unprofessional, short-sided and ignorant. You stated that first-time sex offenders should be treated with compassion, and that if women are more compassionate towards their attackers, men in turn would respect them more. You are the Director of Public Prosecution in Hong Kong, a position that holds you accountable for prosecutors trying sexual assault cases, and your attitude towards sex crime penalties sets the tone for the entire department.
It is inexcusable that the head of prosecutions is in favor of attackers, while completely ignoring the emotional, physical, psychological and social damage that a sexually assaulted woman must endure. Your stance on this issue does not protect the victims and does not work to fight sex crimes. It only makes it easier for attackers to get away without being incarcerated, and you are putting the blame on the victim for not being compassionate enough.
I urge you to apologize for your highly inappropriate remarks and work towards protecting women and serving them justice. The penalties for sex crimes should only be harsher and incarceration should not be optional.
[Your Name here]
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