Rape is a sexual assault offence, defined by under section 375 of the Penal Code as non-consensual penile penetration (e.g. vagina, anus, mouth) or penile penetration (e.g. vagina, anus, mouth) of a person under 14 years of age.

Consent is to give permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something. It can be withdrawn at any point during the activity.

Under section 90 of the Penal Code it is not consent if:

(i) the person is coerced (i.e. the person is under fear of injury or wrongful restraint to the person or another person);

(ii) it is given under misconception of fact; or

(iii) the person is not able to understand the nature or consequences of the act (i.e. due to intoxication, unsoundness of mind, mental incapacity, is under the influence of any drug or substance).

Consent to an activity in the past does not automatically mean consent to the same activity in the future. Even if one is aroused during sexual activity, that does not equate to consent.

Signs you may have been raped:

  • Not knowing why your clothes are on wrong, torn or have unusual stains.
  • If you wake up without clothes and don’t remember taking them off.
  • You have no recollection of engaging in any sexual activity, but physically feel otherwise.
  • You have unexpected bruises, bleeding, pain, scrapes or cuts, especially after waking  up after a party, date or social event.

Date rape is a subset of rape which occurs between the victim and someone they know (intimate partners, friends, acquaintances). As with all other forms of rape, the victim does not consent to it.

Drugs and alcohol are often used in date rape by the assailant to make it easier for them to assault the victims. Since intoxicated victims do not know what is happening, they are unable to give consent to sexual activities, qualifying as rape. Such drugs include:

  • Hard drugs such as marijuana and cocaine
  • Prescription/over-the-counter drugs like antidepressants, tranquilizers, or sleeping aids
  • Specific date rape drugs/club drugs
Component Also known as (but not limited to)
Rohypnol / flunitrazepam Circles, Forget Pill, Mexican Valium, Mind Erasers, Roofies, Trip-and-Fall and Whiteys
Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) Easy Lay, Energy Drink, G-Juice, Liquid Ecstasy and Liquid X
Ketamine Black Hole, Kit Kat, Psychedelic Heroin, Purple, Special K, Super Acid

Effects from drugs or alcohol include:

  • Dizziness, sleepiness, confusion or even passing out
  • Having problems talking or slurred speech
  • Having trouble breathing, moving or controlling muscles
  • Feeling nauseous or vomiting
  • Having very slow or fast heartbeat
What can I do to protect myself?

Here are some safety tips you can follow to better protect yourself:

If you are meeting someone for the first time,

  • Arrange to meet in a public place. Let a family member or friend know where you will be, and when you will be home.
  • If someone makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, trust your gut and avoid being alone with them. Do not hesitate to ask or scream for help if you are in danger.
  • Always be firm and clear about setting boundaries for yourself. Do not do anything you do not feel ready for, you have the right to withhold your consent.

If you are at a party and drinking,

  • Stick with a group of friends. Look out for each other and ensure that everyone gets home safe. Have a buddy system if you are drinking.
  • Don’t accept drinks from others as drinks can be spiked. Open your drink yourself and keep control of it at all times. Understand your alcohol tolerance and don’t drink more than you can handle.
  • Don’t drink anything that smells or tastes strange. Although most date rape drugs are tasteless and odourless, some may taste salty or bitter.
  • If you feel unusually drunk, or that the effects of alcohol are stronger than usual, stop drinking and get help immediately. If you notice that one of your friends may be experiencing such effects, get them to a safe place immediately and call for help.
What can I do if I have been raped?

Here are some safety tips you can follow to better protect yourself:

If you think that you are experiencing a similar scenario,

  • Know that you are not to be blamed for the assault! Rape ultimately happens because of a choice made by the rapist, not the victim.
  • Safety first
    – Stop all forms of contact with the perpetrator.
    Contact the police.
    – If there is any injury go to the nearest GP or hospital.
  • Preserve evidence
    – Report the incident to the Police as soon as possible, so that any evidence of the assault can be preserved
    – Tell someone you trust ​about the incident (for witness or evidence gathering)
  • Medical support
    – Click here for a list of immediate contacts.
    – Police may refer you to medical professionals for forensic medical examination, if required. If you are below 21 years old, your parent’s/guardian’s consent is required.
  • Support
    – Call someone you trust or go to a family member’s or close friend’s house.
    – If you feel emotionally unsafe (i.e. have thoughts of harming yourself or someone else) call a professional counsellor or a helpline
    (Samaritans of Singapore 1800 221 444).
    – Contact the AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre (SACC) at 6799 0282 or email sacc@aware.org.sg for advice or counselling. They also provide befriender services to accompany you to the police, court or hospital.
  • See legal help.
How can friends and family support the victim?
How can I seek legal help?

Here are some safety tips you can follow to better protect yourself:

Legislation for sexual assault offenses:

Penal Code Section 375/376/376A

Section 375 defines rape as

(i) non-consensual vaginal, oral, or anal penetration of a person with the offender’s penis; or

(ii) vaginal, oral or anal penetration of a person with the offender’s penis, where the person is under 14 years of age. Offenders are liable for imprisonment, and fine or caning

Section 511 considers attempts to do any of the above as offences.

Victims who desire to take legal action can choose between self-representation or getting a lawyer to help with legal proceedings.

  • Criminal sanctions: Making a police report
  • Civil remedies:

Obtaining a protection order under the Women’s Charter for protection against family violence, click here.
Protection order under the Protection from Harassment Act for protection against harassment, click here.

For legal advice, you can approach any of the below (this does not mean getting a lawyer to represent you, unless requested):

Singapore Statistics

According to The Straits Times (2020),the number of reported rape cases in Singapore jumped 75% in the past five years – 282 cases of rape were reported to the police in 2019, up from 162 in 2015.

According to the International Violence Against Women Survey 2010,
● 70% did not report the assault to the police ​77.5% of those involved in non-partner victimisation and 71.7% of those involved in partner victimisation did not report to the police
● 58.8% of victims experienced repeated victimisation
● Only 7% of those who experienced violence contacted specialised agencies for assistance