Chief Executive Carrie Lam has commended athlete Vera Lui Lai-yiu for her bravery after she spoke out on Thursday about her experience of sexual assault as a teenager. Lam said that she has contacted the police commissioner to follow up.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Lui’s 23rd birthday, the hurdler 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.

Lui Lai-yiu.

Lui said she was inspired by Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney – who recently accused a USA Gymnastics team physician of sexual abuse – and encouraged others to speak up about their experiences.

Speaking about the incident on Thursday afternoon, Lam said that she felt saddened by the incident and admired Lui’s courage. She also said that, as the chief executive, the government will solemnly deal with the issue of young people and children suffering sexual assault.

Lam said she believed that Lui had undergone a period of inner struggle in hoping to raise awareness of the issue of child sex abuse: “[L]aw enforcement will definitely solemnly follow up on the incident,” she said.

Lam added that she had contacted the police commissioner and that they will actively follow up on the case.

Carrie Lam. File Photo: LegCo.

Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu said that, if a victim believes that they have been sexually assaulted or harassed, they are urged to make a report to the relevant departments including the police and the Equal Opportunities Commission.

“This is because, in looking into the case, the involvement of the victim is very important – without their statement, it is very difficult to investigate.” Lee said that the relevant departments have rich experience in this area and the matter will be dealt with fairly, so as to ensure that the rights of the victim are protected.

Lee said that he has not received any reports thus far on the matter.

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.