A 56-year-old man accused of verbally harassing a young woman in the street in Malé was arrested on Monday.
Police made the arrest after the woman posted a video of what happened on social media. According to the woman, the man followed her on a motorbike for more than 500 metres, while making sexual remarks about her body.
“Never in my life have [I] been harassed like this. This man, who is of my grandfather’s age, followed me from ADK till Scoop,” the woman, who is in her early 20s, tweeted on Saturday.
The tweet has since been retweeted hundreds of times, with several social media users demanding that the police take a tougher stance on sexual harassment.
“I have been following this issue. Just wanted to let you know we have arrested the accused person and are investigating the case,” Police Commissioner Mohamed Hameed tweeted.
Speaking to the Maldives Independent, police spokeswoman Izmia Zahir called on those who might have witnessed the alleged harassment to contact the police.
A 2015 survey by Nufoshey, a platform to fight sexual harassment, stated that 96 percent of Maldivian women had been victims of inappropriate behaviour in public, with 60 percent claiming to have been abused before the age of 14 and 40 percent before the age of 10.
According to the platform, 89 percent of victims of abuse did not report the incident to the police.
Ladies, if u have come across him in the past in a similar way, pls do not hesitate to inform us.Please know that u are not alone in this & we will do our best to help.Sexual harassment is unacceptable & we will stand united against this.Let the streets of Maldives be safe 4 all! https://t.co/vF9IhgLNkb
— Izmia Zahir (@IzmiaZahir) June 10, 2019