Monday, May 5, 2014

Domestic violence victims need protection

Reproduced from:
| February 19, 2014
A coalition of women's rights organisations urge that protection be provided for those facing continuous violence.
PETALING JAYA: A coalition of women’s rights organisations expressed concern over the lack of protection provided for domestic violence-related victims citing the tragic death of a mother of four who was allegedly beaten to death by her husband in May last year.
The woman, Nurhidayah Abdul Ghani was critically injured following her divorce application. She had allegedly made numerous police reports over a period of time prior to her death.
Due to the allegations of repetitive domestic violence, women’s group part of the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) has proposed for a legal obligation to provide protection for victims of domestic violence through the criminal justice system and the implementation of Interim Protection Orders to protect those facing continuous violence caused by family members.
“Domestic violence must be taken seriously as it can escalate in severity and lead to death, as shown in this case,” said Sally Wangsawijaya, advocacy officer of the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) in a press statement today.
“Early intervention is critical as the government and the community can play their role in recognising the severity of the problem,” she added.
Echoing Sally’s sentiment was Melissa Mohd Akhir, advocacy officer with the Women Centre for Change, Penang (WCC) who stressed that the protection offered to victim survivors is crucial to prevent further violence.
Melissa also stated that the state had an obligation to practice due diligence in protecting victim survivors of domestic violence, following the recommendation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
A recent study conducted by the Women’s Development Research Centre (KANITA), University Sains Malaysia had found that 9 out of every 100 households in Malaysia will have a woman who has experienced domestic violence.
Nurhidayah’s husband, Jamaluddin Ali was charged for murdering his wife under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the death penalty upon conviction.
The case was mentioned before Judge Amelia Tee at the High Court of Kuala Lumpur. The case is fixed for hearing from April 28.
The coalition includes – Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Women’s Centre for Change, Penang (WCC), The Association of Women Lawyers (AWL), All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Perak Women for Women Society (PWW), Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER) and Sisters in Islam (SIS).

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