Rainlily Executive Director Linda Wong Sau-yung has said that victims of sexual assault should be the ones to decide whether to report the matter to the police, a day after hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu spoke out about being assaulted as a teen.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Lui’s 23rd birthday, the athlete said that a former coach at her school touched her private parts under the guise of a “massage” when she was in junior secondary school. The school and Watsons Athletic Club said it had suspended a coach suspected of being involved in Lui’s case.

lui lai yiu
Lui Lai-yiu.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu both urged the victim to come forward after Lui spoke out about the incident. “This is because, when looking into the case, the involvement of the victim is very important – without their statement, it is very difficult to investigate,” Lee said.

The Hong Kong Elite Athletes Association published a statement expressing “deep regret” over Lui’s experience and said it had zero tolerance for cases involving assault on children. It also urged other athletes to seek help from the police if they have met with similar experiences.

On an RTHK programme on Friday morning, Wong said: “It’s difficult to predict other people’s reaction, but I think Lui already did what she’s supposed to do.” Wong said that Lui has encouraged other victims to speak out.

linda wong
Rainlily’s Linda Wong. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Wong also said that she believed positive reactions would encourage survivors to seek help. “As to whether to report the matter to the police and what steps to take, that’s a more complicated matter.”

“There are a lot of considerations involved in whether a person decides to report to the police, and it should be left to the victim to choose and deal with,” she added.

In a separate incident, the Hong Kong Jockey Club confirmed on Thursday that an equestrian coach had been terminated last Friday for using sexual harassment language during the course of his duties.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.