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Sunday , October 24 2021

Sexual harassment

What is the process to report sexual harassment? Will there be an English speaking lady police officer available at the police station to take the complaint?

Once a report has been filed at the police station what exactly happens to the suspect and the victim?

How will the investigation and proceedings take place? Will the family or the sponsor be called for interrogation?. Will the police visit the suspect and the victim’s office or home for investigation? Will a lawyer be required? How to find a good lawyer?

What will be the approximate cost? Will the fact that the suspect and victim were in a relationship 2 years ago affect the case and make it weak for the victim?

For your information, there has been no contact between the two parties since 2 years. The suspect has been married since 2 years and is living with his wife while the victim has not made any attempts to contact the suspect since 2 years.

The first contact between the two was made by the suspect. The evidence that the victim holds is phone calls and nude pics of the suspect. The suspect also stalked the victim and made a public scene which can be proved by eyewitnesses.

Is there a possibility for the guilty to face jail time? If yes for how long? Is there a possibility for the guilty to face deportation? In case the suspect is set free, will the victim get police protection against the crimes that can be committed by the angry suspect?

Name withheld
Answer: You need to approach the nearest police station and file a criminal case against the person who is sexually harassing you … and while doing so, you must be confident of the fact that the Kuwaiti law on the issue is very, very strict.

In fact, Articles 191 and 192 of the Kuwait Penal Code lay down sentences of up to 15 years — and life imprisonment in severe cases like rape — for people found guilty of sexual harassment. Please also remember that anyone found guilty and jailed for even one day faces deportation from Kuwait … and will not be allowed to return.

Having said that, the hardest part is filing a sexual harassment report for various reasons but mainly because you rarely find anyone (except the officers) who speak or understand English.

So, the best thing would be to take a friend, who speaks Arabic perfectly, along while filing the report. And while on the subject, you have to remember that the chances of finding a female police officer to take down the statement are very rare.

The second difficulty is due to the fact that officers try to reconcile both the parties but it is totally the decision of the victim which carries weight…unless the officers feel the case is fictitious.

The police will conduct an independent investigation, which involves going to the places mentioned by the victim and interviewing all those who have been named as witnesses.

Yes, having been in a relationship- outside marriage — with a man does affect the case, especially in Muslim country like Kuwait, but that’s a totally different issue.

And yes, you will need a lawyer to fight your case and if you can’t afford one you must approach the Kuwait Lawyers Society, where some lawyers who offer pro bono services may be made available to you. And in case you want to hire one, you can be informed about the charges of various lawyers. And if the suspect is found guilty, he will be jailed and deported. Even if the case can’t be proved, he will be warned to stay away from you.

For legal queries email to arabtimes@arabtimesonline.com or admin@arabtimesonline.com

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