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Jakarta Post

Grab Indonesia under fire for 'mishandling' sexual harassment report

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 11, 2018   /   09:45 am
Grab Indonesia under fire for 'mishandling' sexual harassment report Grab on the app store on smartphone. ( Caliph)

Online ride hailing app Grab Indonesia has come under public scrutiny over the way the company handled a sexual harassment report after a customer was allegedly assaulted by her Grab driver. 

Instagram account Indonesia Feminis posted the story of a user who claimed that her friend had been sexually harassed by a Grab car driver who allegedly forced her to kiss him.

Another screenshot of the same post said the poster and her friend had called Grab Indonesia and demanded that the company fire the driver.

The post received over 1,000 likes and was reposted to multiple social media accounts including Twitter. It was then picked up by Twitter user @qitmr who called on Grab Indonesia to take the matter seriously.

@qitmr’s tweet was retweeted over 4,000 times after which Grab Indonesia responded by saying that the driver had been punished according to the Grab Driver Partner Code of Ethics. 

In a series of tweet, Grab said it had contacted the driver to hear his side of the story and it offered to mediate between the two parties. However, the next tweet said the customer refused to meet Grab Indonesia and the alleged perpetrator. 

It was retweeted 50 times and received 689 replies, implying that netizens did not agree with Grab’s intention to arrange a meeting between the alleged victim and perpetrator.

One user, @anchadoyok, said: “What is this? Come on. Of course [the victim] don’t want to meet [the alleged perpetrator]. It’s like you are trying to form a public opinion on this. Just report it to the police to be investigated. Don’t make it look like the victim doesn’t want to fix the problem.”

Feminist activists also slammed the idea, saying that the suggestion would add to the trauma that the alleged victim had faced.

“If the alleged victim wanted to meet [the alleged attacker] in the first place, Grab should facilitate it. If there is no such request, then don’t offer it. 

“Offer to meet and discuss with Grab alone first. They should ask what the alleged victim wants,” women’s rights activist Tunggal Pawestri said.

She said Grab should have standard procedures for cases of sexual harassment and discuss them with organizations that have worked on the issue, “such as the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) or Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation for Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK)”.

Activist and cofounder of feminist web magazine Devi Asmarani said Grab was doing themselves a disservice by offering to arrange the meeting.

She said that in cases of sexual assault, mediation was not a correct course of action.

“[A victim of sexual assault] will not want mediation because she is not guilty.”

She added that firms like Grab should have dedicated procedure and complaint divisions that could handle reports of sexual assault as they were unlike other kinds of complaints and should be handled more sensitively.

Grab Indonesia marketing director Mediko Azwar said the company had actually tried to set up the meetings separately before offering to arrange a meeting between the two parties, and that the tweet might have caused a misunderstanding.

“The process is not to arrange a meeting directly between the two, but separately [with us] at first,” he said on Wednesday. “We tried to follow up with both parties to confirm the information that had been circulating.”

Mediko said the driver had met with Grab and denied that the incident had taken place. 

Jakarta Police spokesman Comr. Argo Yuwono said the police had yet to receive any reports about the case.