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Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg (left) and Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah at the launch of Sarawak’s state-level Women’s Day celebration. Pix by NADIM BOKHARI

KUCHING: Domestic violence cases in Sarawak is on the rise, state Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said today.

She said a total of 238 cases of domestic violence were recorded in 2013 and the figure has increased to 358 cases the following year.

Although dipped slightly to 279 cases in 2015, the cases, however, went up drastically to 427 cases last year.

“According to the statistics provided by the police, a total of 323 cases of domestic violence have been reported for the past seven months.

“I am very concerned with the increase in the numbers of such cases.

“If there is no integrated efforts to address this problems, I fear that it will lead to social problems and disturb the wellbeing of the community,” said Fatimah in her speech during the state-level Women’s Day celebration here today.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg and other state ministers were also present.

Fatimah said she was glad that the Federal Government was amending the Domestic Violence (Amendments) Act 2017, which will provide authority to Welfare Department officers to apply Emergency Protection Order and hasten the process of giving protection to victim of domestic violence.

Later in his speech, Abang Johari said more programmes needed to be carried out to create awareness on domestic violence cases in the state.

“We need to help these women who are facing trouble. We must create awareness and educate them that they will be protected.

“I also hoped more non-governmental organisations can come forward and help Fatimah and her team at the ministry to help women who are victims of domestic violence.” he said.

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