Better coordination among centres, NGOs, shelters urged

Fatimah chairs the council meeting.

Fatimah chairs the council meeting.

KUCHING: The State Women and Family Council wants better coordination between the One-Stop Crisis Centres, non-governmental organisations such as Sarawak Women for Women Society and the gazetted shelters or safe houses for victims of domestic violence or rape.

“We need to look into better coordination, better traffic flow and working relationship that would benefit women,” said Minister of Women, Welfare and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.

Speaking to reporters after the council meeting yesterday, Fatimah said the One-Stop Crisis Centre was available in all major hospitals in the state, and was designed to be a place where women in crisis could go for help.

“The medical examination and counselling can be done here away from the usual channels, and police will come over to take the report.

“One of the recommendations is to make more people aware that we have safe houses for women who need shelter due to domestic violence,” she said.

There are four of these shelters in Sarawak – Rumah Seri Kenangan Kuching (Samarahan Rehabilitation Centre), Rumah Seri Kenangan Sibu, Sekolah Tunas Bakti Miri and Rumah Kanak-Kanak Datuk Ajibah Abol in Sri Aman.

According to the police, there were 225 domestic violence cases in 2014 and 192 in 2015.

Statutory rape is also a cause for concern, making up 116 out of 143 cases in 2014, and 113 cases out of 149 in 2015.

In 2014, there were 64 cases of molestation (without penetration), and 61 cases the following year.

Sexual harassment stood at seven in 2014 and 11 in 2015.

There were two maid abuse cases in 2014 and one sodomy case in 2015.