Better coordination needed to assist domestic violence victims

KUCHING: Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development, Datuk Hajah Fatimah Abdullah urged a better coordination between three main key players in providing assistance to domestic violence victims.

The three players are non-governemental organisations (NGOs), gazetted protection cenres and the One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) at major hospitals in the state.

“Better coordination will mean better efficiency in delivering assistance and services to the victims in the future,” Fatimah said at a press conference after chairing a meeting with the Women and Family Development Council at Grand Margherita Hotel here, yesterday.

Fatimah disclosed that the most apparent type of domestic violence against women was rape.

“According to statistics provided by the police, there were 143 cases in 2014 and 149 cases in 2015.

What saddens me more is that most of the cases involved statutory rape. From the total number of rape cases, 116 were statutory rape cases in 2014 and 113 in 2015,” she said..

She stressed the importance of the protection centre for women in the state, to protect them from becoming further casualties.

According to Fatimah, there are five protection centre in Sarawak, namely Rumah Seri Kenangan Kuching (currently under renovation), Rumah Seri Kenangan Sibu, a designated building at Sekolah Tunas Bakti in Miri, Rumah Kanak-Kanak Ajibah Abol Sri Aman and Samarahan Rehabilitation Centre.

Meanwhile she said in cases of death involving Sarawakians in Peninsular Malaysia, they would be referred to Rumah Sarawak in Kuala Lumpur.

“Rumah Sarawak help to facilitate the transportation of bodies back to Sarawak and will see to the needs of the family,” she said, adding that any case involving Sarawakian would be treated with special interest.

“However, if they are abroad, things will be arranged by the Malaysian Embassy, just like the recent case of Bernard Then,”

Fatimah also disclosed that the Rumah Sarawak was also directly administered by the Chief Minister’s Office.