Domestic violence against women should not be dealt as a private family matter, but a crime that can further escalate to murder, said Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Sumitra Visvanathan. Pix from WAO
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) has introduced TINA, a new SMS helpline to reach out to survivors of domestic violence and women in crisis. TINA is available from 9.00 am - 5.30 pm on Monday to Friday. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, SMS TINA at 018 988 8058. Pix from WAO

KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic violence against women should not be dealt as a private family matter, but a crime that can further escalate to murder, said Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Sumitra Visvanathan.

She said domestic violence was prevalent in Malaysia for a long period of time and had worsen over the years.

“It (domestic violence) has always existed. However, this has led to more deathly cases (in recent years). This is serious and must not be tolerated,” she told Bernama.

A study conducted by Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Women’s Development Research Centre (Kanita) in 2014, revealed that nine percent of ever-partnered women in Peninsular Malaysia experienced domestic violence at some point in their lifetime.

Sumitra said law enforcement against domestic violence needed to be strengthened and the cases perceived as a serious crime that could lead to unwanted fatalities.

“Only then can there be better responses, better investigation of the crime by the police, better handling of evidence, more prosecutions and more convictions,” she added.

She advised women who were being abused or ill-treated by their partners to not accept and tolerate the mistreatment.

“There is no excuse for abuse. Domestic violence is a crime. It is not a family matter and it must not be kept a secret,” she added.

Despite many cases of domestic violence being reported, Sumitra said there was still not enough awareness on the dangers of domestic violence among Malaysians.

“We want Malaysians to stand up against this sort of violence. If you see it happening, do something about it.

“Help the woman however you can. Let us all work together as a community to end violence against women in their own homes.

“We all need to become more intolerant to domestic violence so that women feel that they are able to stand up against the violence and reach out for help,” she said. --BERNAMA

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