Domestic violence: “Women should not endure in silence,” says MCA leader

WOMEN who are victims of domestic violence do not need to suffer in silence but instead must have the courage to lodge a police report and seek help, said Wanita MCA.

Wanita MCA deputy chairperson Tee Hooi Ling said the wing’s Legal Advisory and Women’s Aid Centre (LAWA) was established and is willing to provide the necessary assistance to victims of domestic violence and abuse.

“The government also needs to organise more programmes to empower the rights of women and provide training suitable for women,” she said in a statement on Monday (Feb 19).

“These include full-time or part-time jobs, so that women will be able to be more financially independent and reduce the burden and pressures on their households.”

According to police data, a total of 5,507 domestic violence cases were recorded nationwide in 2023 – a decline from 6,540 cases in 2022. Among all states, Selangor, Kedah and Sarawak rank top three in the country for domestic violence cases.

“Although statistics indicate a downward trend, we cannot rule out that some victims of domestic violence do not report the crime, mainly out of fear or shame. Some victims even voluntarily withdraw their cases after reporting the assaults,” Tee noted.

“In certain cases, there are also children who fall victims of domestic violence and are abused by their fathers or step-fathers.

“However, their mothers are afraid to take action out of fear that their children will be treated even more cruelly. Similarly, the mothers may not have the financial means to move herself and the children out of the marital homes.”

Tee noted that many factors trigger domestic violence, include monetary disputes and extramarital affairs, adding that although there are fewer reported cases of domestic violence arising from drug abuse, their impact cannot be ignored.

“Financial disagreements are one of the most common factors. Family conflicts erupt over cashflow issues and expenses, which eventually may spiral into domestic violence,” she elaborated.

“The government should list out avenues where couples undergoing marital conflicts may seek counselling, or emergency hotlines or halfway homes or where victims of assaults and abuse may seek advice, guidance on applying for an interim protection order and shelter.

“Similarly, the police could work with residence associations or Rukun Tetangga on the avenues and legal remedies to aid victims of domestic violence.” – Feb 19, 2024


Main pic credit: The Star

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