Hong Kong hurdler Lui Lai-yiu, 23, accused her former coach of sexually assaulting her when she was a junior secondary school student.
Lui has become the first high-profile woman in Hong Kong to tell of abuse as part of the #MeToo campaign, which aims to show the magnitude of sexual misconduct around the world.
HK athlete Lui Lai-yiu's #MeToo story goes viral; involving her coach when she was a teenager https://t.co/aq7wWIoK3U— Aaron Mc Nicholas (@aaronMCN) 29 November 2017
"He asked if my muscles felt tense after last week's drill and said he can help w/ a massage. Massage, from athletes' point of view, is a totally normal thing…" pic.twitter.com/X87MRIXtp9
On her 23rd birthday, Lui posted an open letter on Facebook saying that she was assaulted by “Coach Y” when she was around 13 to 14 years old.
The hurdler said that on a Saturday afternoon, the coach offered her a massage, “something absolutely normal from an athlete’s point of view,” she said.
“I trusted him, so it did not cross my mind that he would do something despicable to his student. He then continued his so-called ‘massage’. Finally, he took off my jeans and my underwear, and touched my private parts.”
Lui said that she was inspired by Olympic gymnast Mckayla Maroney, who in October accused former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of molesting her.
According to HongKongFreePress, Lui’s former coach was suspended by the school this month.
“Not an isolated incident,” HK lawmaker
Elizabeth Quat, an HK lawmaker, has urged the police and the sports industry to investigate Lui’s accusations, warning that this case might just be the tip of the iceberg.
'I think sexual abuse to children is not just a single incident. There should be many of these kinds of incidents in different kinds of industry. So, I think this is a very, very serious issue that our whole society has to pay attention to,' Quat said.
'Miss Lui is very brave. Hopefully her action will encourage all other victims to stand up for themselves.'
Women from all over the world have shared their story of being sexually harassed using the hashtag “Me Too”.
After a call to action from actress Alyssa Milano, #MeToo has exploded on social media, with over half a million stories posted online.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) 15 October 2017
The campaign is encouraging women to raise their hands and to share their stories, aiming to reveal the magnitude of sexual assault.