Women hit back online

PETALING JAYA: Refusing to be cowed, more victims of assaults in carparks are speaking up openly about their ordeal on social media sites, keeping the spotlight on cases of crimes against women.

In the past two weeks, at least three Facebook users have posted accounts of attacks in various carparks at shopping centres.

One post, put up by "Yvonne Low" described an assault on her aunt and cousin by two men in a Cheras mall.

"One of them crept up on my aunt and bashed her head, while the other chased my cousin who managed to escape," she wrote on her post dated June 3, which included pictures of the victim's injuries.

The outcome? "A stolen purse, a serious head injury, horrifying memory and physical plus emotional damage," she said.

Her post has been shared 2,476 times so far.

Another incident involved a woman who was attacked by a man in the carpark of a mall in Kuala Lumpur while his two friends watched.

The post, written by one "Monica Yap" on behalf of the victim, who was her colleague, urged women to be alert while getting in and out of their cars at parking lots.

A check on Chin Xin-Ci's Facebook wall showed that the Internet marketeer has also been keeping up to date on events, calling for measures to be taken to ensure public safety.

Chin's story about her near abduction on May 27 has been shared about 51,000 times.

Online women's magazine Venusbuzz has also taken the initiative to champion the safety of women and children in public spaces with its CARing project.

The project featured on www.venusbuzz.com includes articles and how-to guidelines to educate women on safety precautions, as well as a "Rate Our Carparks" system for readers.

"If a carpark gets a very bad rating, we will bring it up to the management of that car park," said its founder Anna Chew.

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