KUCHING: Victims of domestic violence in Sarawak continue to receive the much needed help.
Not only the Sarawak government but non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have come forward to provide care and support to these victims.
To address the issue of domestic violence, the Ministry of Women, Early Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development has established a holistic and integrated collaboration with the Sarawak State Health Department (JKNS); Division D11 Sarawak Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM); Sarawak Social Welfare Department (JKMS); Sarawak Women and Family Department (JWKS); Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS); and related NGOs.
Among the efforts made, its minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said is to develop a Domestic Violence Management Guide in Sarawak to deal with domestic violence cases uniformly in 2018.
It also involved the setting up of training facilitators in the community to deal with the challenges of domestic violence during COVID-19 pandemic in families with the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC).
Thirdly, she said is to ensure victims get temporary protection orders, emergency protection orders, access to temporary shelters and necessary services including getting sufficient financial assistance/resources to deal with emergency situations through the Sarawak Social Welfare Department.
“Through collaboration between agencies and related NGOs, victims receive assistance such as Protection from Social Welfare Department Officers; immediate access to the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) in the Emergency Unit in all hospitals and PDRM besides legal services or Legal Aid Department officers;
Besides that, she said it includes providing awareness and advocacy on domestic violence issues and family problems through a series of infographics/snapshots via the Sarawak Social Development Council (MPPS) Facebook.
“Through MPSS, the ministry will continue to organise awareness and advocacy programmes on social issues including domestic violence issues in the city and in the countryside post COVID-19 in collaboration with strategic partners through programmes such as Randau Pembangunan Social (RPS); Randau Community Solidarity (RSK); forum for discourse and dialogue at the grassroots level.
“Since 2017, a total of 44 series of programmes that have a domestic violence component involving more than 10,000 participants have been organised,” she said.
She added that the ministry’s latest initiative is the establishment of a Community Social Support Centre (CSSC) which also houses a temporary transit place for victims of domestic violence.
The first facility that will be operating in the near future is in Kuching.
First Aid Training for Domestic Violence Victims
First aid training, Fatimah said is a necessity for the community and exposure related to first aid has also now been extended to the NGO level.
“NGO members are encouraged to equip themselves with first aid skills in order to be on the ‘front line’ in rescuing accident victims, especially during emergencies.
“This training gives students exposure to the basic principles of first aid about the importance of early/immediate action to help save victims,” she said.
She said it also provides exposure in efforts to provide emergency assistance as well as increase the confidence of members to provide assistance in the event of any emergency anywhere.
On the importance of first aid training, Fatimah said it provides first aid to save lives in life-threatening situations such as heavy bleeding, respiratory and cardiac arrest, burns and burns and many others.
It is also to avoid the situation getting worse – give proper and quick first aid treatment to prevent injuries or the victim’s condition from getting worse.
“Reducing pain – giving comfort, confidence and words of encouragement to give relief to the victim,” she said,
According to the Women Aid Organisation (WAO), nine per cent of Malaysian women who have ever been in a relationship experience domestic violence.
How to detect if you are in an abusive relationship?
WAO had listed down the further signs you may be in an abusive relationship as below:
• pulling your hair
• causing you fear by looks, actions, or gestures
• forbidding you from eating or falling asleep
• preventing you from calling for help
• harming the children
• driving dangerously when you are in the car
• forcing the use of drugs or alcohol
• putting you down
• shaming and humiliating you
• criticising you constantly
• undermining your self-worth
• threatening to harm the children
• manipulating you into thinking that you are becoming insane or making you doubt your perception of reality (gaslighting)
• blaming you for the abuse
• playing the victim
• denying or minimising the abuse
• guilt tripping
• threatening to harm themselves if you don’t comply with their demands
• forcing you into sexual acts without your consent
• forcing you to dress in a sexual way
• treating you in a sexually demeaning manner
• forcing you to view pornography
• hurting with objects during sex
• making you feel like you owe them sex
• saying things such as: “Sex is the way to prove your love”, “if i don’t get sex from you, I’ll get it somewhere else”
• refusing to use a condom
• preventing you from taking contraceptives
• forcing you to or preventing you from getting an abortion
• preventing you from leaving home or contacting friends or family
• undermining your relationship with friends and family
• monitoring your movements
• constantly texting or calling to find out where you are and who you’re with
• making you economically dependent by maintaining complete control over financial resources
• withholding access to money or giving an allowance and closely monitoring expenses
• preventing you from working or preventing access from bank accounts
• sabotaging your career
• taking loans in your name through coercion
• forcing you to hand over your salary
• using technology or sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Whatsapp to monitor, bully, harass, insult or stalk you
• sending explicit videos or porn without your consent
• forcing you to send intimate photos
If you are in an abusive relationship, WOA said it is advisable to create a personalised safety plan.
Know where to seek help
Talian Kasih 15999;
• JWKS Helpline- 082-448866 /1800-22-5566 (tollfree) / email@example.com;
• Line to get a counselling session; ✓ Mental Health Association (MHA) Kuching – 082- 231459
✓ Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) Crisis Line – 082-422660
✓ Befrienders Kuching – 082-242800
✓ Bodhi Counselling – 082-256428/082-256429
✓ Grace Centre Kuching – 082-256411
✓ WOA Hotline- +603 3000 8858 / WhatsApp 6018 988 8058