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Via Vallen speaks up against sexual harassment

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, June 6, 2018 | 06:39 pm
Via Vallen speaks up against sexual harassment

Singer Via Vallen received support as well as disapproval after exposingย a private message of a sexual nature. (kompas.com/Andi Muttya Keteng)

Singer Via Vallen exposed a private message on social media sent by an unnamed foreign soccer player on Tuesday.

Via claimed to have never met the “famous football player” and that she felt “humiliated”.

Posted on Via’s Instagram Story, the message said, “I want u sign for me in my bedroom, wearing sexy clothes…”

Via added her own words to the story, “I’ve never known and never met him. All of a sudden he sent a DM and a text like this.”

“As a singer, I was being humiliated by a famous football player in my country RIGHT NOW. I’M NOT A KIND THAT GIRL, DUDE!!!”

Read also: Time names sexual abuse 'Silence Breakers' as Person of the Year

In the post, Via covered the sender’s name and profile picture, saying she will not reveal his identity.

The incident has been widely talked about on social media and was picked up by the media.

Support poured out for Via, who rose to fame with the song “Sayang”, the video of which has been viewed more than 153 million times on YouTube.

However, there were also netizens who said she was exaggerating or looking for fame.   

Dhimas Ginanjar on Twitter said Via needs to be supported so other women would speak up.

“According to National Commission on Violence against Women [Komnas Perempuan] data, there were 348,000 cases of violence against women. It related mostly to domestic violence and harassment in the cyber world. This is not about exaggerating.”

The tweet has been retweeted more than 8,500 times.

A Twitter account by the name of @rchbl made a compilation of comments that blamed Via for her actions.

Responding to the victim-blaming tendency, Komnas Perempuan tweeted, “Dear holier-than-thou netizens, when a woman victim stands up against sexual violence, we should support her! Victim blaming only makes the perpetrators go wild!”

BBC Indonesia reported that Sri Nurherwati, Komnas Perempuan’s commissioner, said what happened to Via is cyber-based sexual harassment. 

Read also: Japanese women confront grim taboo by saying 'me too'

Sri stated that exposing the harassment on social media was the right thing to do.

“The post should be read as a call for support, so there will be no impunity for perpetrators and the victim can receive help,” she said.

Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrowi demanded the soccer player apologize to Via. 

“For Via, I hope you can be patient,” he said on Wednesday.

In a soccer match between PSMS Medan and Persib Bandung in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday, a banner graced a wall with the words "Save Via Vallen". (wng)

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