KUCHING: The number of domestic violence cases has shown a 13.2 percent increase this year (as of October) compared to last year, with Kuching recording the highest number of such cases in Sarawak.
“Domestic violence cases have increased by 13.2 percent, that is, 644 cases this year (as of October) compared to 569 last year,” said Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.
Referring to this year’s statistics, she said Kuching recorded the highest number of cases at 32.3 percent, followed by Miri at 26.2 percent, Sibu (9.5 percent) and Samarahan (nine percent).
“About 68 percent of domestic violence cases are drug-related. That is why we give such a huge focus on addressing substance and drug abuse as this relates to other issues such as domestic violence,” she said at a press conference after chairing a Sarawak Women and Family Council (MWKS) meeting at Baitul Makmur II here today.
She said from January to March, there was a decrease in domestic violence cases reported monthly from 105 in January, 80 in February, and then 60 in March.
However, she said the number of cases increased after that.
For October this year, 22 cases of domestic violence were recorded.
With regard to sex-related crimes, Fatimah said from 2016 until last year, 763 victims involved were children aged 18 and below.
“There is an increasing trend in the number of child victims during that period. In 2016, there were 160 victims, 173 in 2017 (8.1 percent increase), 207 in 2018 (19.7 percent increase) and 222 last year (7.2 percent increase),” she said.
For this year, as of October, she said there were 163 children who were victims of sexual crimes.
She said during the MWKS meeting, they had agreed to carry out activities to create awareness among children as to what type of touch is allowed and what is prohibited.
“We work with the Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) to organise programmes to educate children about their rights and how to report such incidences,” said Fatimah.