Equal Opportunities Commission


E-news Issue 195


EOC and CUHK co-organise anti-sexual harassment seminar for churches

On 12 October 2018, the EOC and the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) co-organised the "Seminar on Prevention of Sexual Harassment in Churches". The seminar aimed to raise awareness of sexual harassment and promote the formulation of effective anti-sexual harassment policies in churches.

Among the speakers were Dr Ferrick CHU Chung-man, Director of Policy, Research & Training of the EOC; Mr CHONG Yiu-kwong, Deputy Convenor of the EOC's Working Group on Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign; Rev Ray WONG Ka-fai, School Chaplain and Director of Pastoral Programme, Divinity School of Chung Chi College of the CUHK; and Ms Vicky SHIU, Assistant Chaplain, Divinity School of Chung Chi College of the CUHK. They were joined at a sharing session by Rev Prof LO Lung-kwong, General Secretary of Hong Kong Christian Council; Professor Angela WONG Wai Ching, Vice President of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia; Ms Ivy CHUNG Wai-yin from the Support Service for Church, Hong Kong Christian Service; and Mr Kelvin MAK Kwong-yuen, Chief Equal Opportunities Officer in the EOC's Complaint Services Division.

The seminar served as a timely response to the wave of media reports that erupted earlier this year around sexual misdemeanours committed by senior pastors against both male and female churchgoers. A number of church leaders had also been alleged to have brushed off complaints and demanded silence from the victims.

Professor Susanne CHOI, Convenor of the Policy, Research and Training Committee and the Working Group on Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign of the EOC said, "Doctrines about forgiveness and the hierarchical structure of certain churches may give rise to a hush-hush culture that blames the victim, and it is a trend that must be stopped now. Needless to say, sexual harassment should not be tolerated anywhere, including churches. The EOC will continue to raise awareness of the problem both within and beyond the religious community through public education, research and training."