Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: There was an 88 per cent surge in domestic violence cases reported in Sarawak from January to April this year compared to the same corresponding period last year.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the cases increased by 145 cases or 88 per cent to 310 cases from Jan to April this year compared to 165 cases from Jan to April last year.

“From Jan to April 2020, 168 cases were reported from the urban areas while 142 cases were reported from the rural areas,” she told New Sarawak Tribune yesterday. 

Fatimah said there were 104 cases in Jan this year, 80 cases in Feb, 60 cases in March and 66 cases in April.

There were 58 cases in Jan last year, 33 cases in Feb, 40 cases in March and 34 cases in April.

“But looking at the cases this year, there is a decrease from Jan to Feb and Feb to March. This shows that the cases decreased during the first and second phases of the movement control order (MCO).

“However, there is an increase of six cases last month from 60 cases in March,” she said.

Fatimah added from Jan to April this year, Kuching ranked the highest with 74 cases, followed by Miri (73), Sibu (34), Samarahan (32) and Padawan (24). 

Fatimah said domestic violence could happen between husbands and wives, adults and children including siblings.

“The common causes of domestic violence are drug related and other causes include jealousy, divorce, drunkenness, bad temper, misunderstanding, financial problems, mental disorder or affairs,” she said.

She advised victims to lodge complaints by calling the Sarawak Social Welfare Department (JKM) Helpline at 082-514141 or Family and Women Department (JWKS) Helpline at 082-448866.

“Reporting is important. It is equally important so that necessary follow up actions can be done by the police, the accused remanded, investigated and brought to court as speedily as possible,” added Fatimah.