Content warning: This article includes references to sexual violence and self-harm.

At 7 years old, Devika Satheesh Panicker was sexually assaulted. After a year of abuse, her parents learnt of the matter and the perpetrator was arrested and incarcerated. Yet this was only the beginning of a long journey for her, first as a survivor and subsequently as an advocate for sexual violence awareness. Sean Francis Han (Wake Up Singapore) and PJ Thum talk to her about her life and experiences, her career and advocacy, and her experience as an actress and Vasantham beauty pageant winner. In particular, she discusses the issues and challenges around sexual violence in Singapore (particularly around the issue of consent) and provides crucial advice for how to listen and help survivors.

This episode is a collaboration with Wake Up, Singapore. You can find out more about them online on their website, Facebook and Instagram.

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and a historian at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). Reach him at

Sean Francis Han is editor-in-chief at Wake Up Singapore, one of Singapore's largest alternative media platforms. He has worked with civil society groups such as Project X and The Online Citizen Asia, and is currently doing an MA in Literature and Philosophy at NUS. His current work seeks to bring theory and revolutionary ideas to everyone, through reading groups, talks and other media.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *