A More Integrated Approach and Assistance for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence
Badlishah Sham Baharin
Problem Statement / Issue:
The introduction of MCO in March 2020 has left women and children in hopeless and helpless state and showed an increase in number of cases of domestic violence. Left alone and trapped with young children at home with the perpetrator had caused tremendous mental anguish in many women. Women also face obstacles and difficulty in reporting as some police officers ‘advise’ women to care more for the husbands to avoid being abused, some also advise women to retract the already filed report and lack of family and social support. The country is also lacking of shelter home for domestic violence with only two centres as such operated under the Welfare Department. A more integrated approach from all respective agencies are needed with proper training in gender-sensitivity issues to assist the officials task at handling the delicate issues of domestic violence.
Value(s) and Belief(s):
Women form half the nation and are important workforce. Women are equally deserved to be treated with respect and empathy. When women are abused at home, it creates vicious cycle to the young children who may inherit the abusive nature through modelling. The children may grow up being abusive themselves or victims of abuse. This has been vastly studied and demonstrated in literatures.
Proposal of Solution and Call to Action:
1. Empower and expand the services of the one-stop-crisis-centre (OSCC) model available currently in the hospital and extend the services to local health clinic (klinik kesihatan) that is widely available nationwide so women do not have to travel far to get help. Many women are helpless especially housewives.
2. Increase the number of officers at Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) to handle the cases.
3. Increase the number of shelter homes nationwide.
4. Campaign to stop domestic violence in society, workplace, school, neighbourhood, religious worship places etc.
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