KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — A total of 57,519 cases of violence against women were reported from 2010 until March 2017 according to police statistics.
Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Chew Mei Fun said the number comprised domestic violence cases and criminal cases under the Penal Code involving women as victims such as cases of molestation, incest, rape and unnatural offences.
“A total of 23,212 cases (40 per cent) are domestic violence cases involving women as victims while 28,365 cases of child abuse were reported to the Welfare Department from 2010 to 2016,” she told the Dewan Negara sitting here today.
Chew was replying to Senator Engku Naimah Taib on the number of cases relating to violence against women as well as cases of abuse and neglect of children from 2010 to 2017.
Engku Naimah also wanted to know the effectiveness of the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Act 521) Amendment 2012 in curbing violence against women and abuse of children.
Chew said the government approved the first amendment on the Domestic Act 1994 on Dec 21, 2015 and its enforcement on Feb 20, 2013 to expand the definition of domestic violence from the physical aspect covering emotional, mental and psychological abuse, use of intoxicants and substances that caused delusions to victims, including child victims.
Following amendments to the act, all staff involved in handling domestic violence cases had been given 14 briefing sessions nationwide.
“The briefings are advocacy programmes aimed at, among others, to raise understanding and knowledge on the methods of handling cases including victims of domestic violence to the relevant officials and extend the role and responsibility of relevant agencies handling such cases.
“Our ministry, in collaboration with nine agencies, has also developed the Guidelines for Handling Domestic Violence Cases that stated the role and responsibilities of the agency concerned,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chew said the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Act 521) which was created to provide legal protection to victims of domestic violence was not confined to the wife but also included husbands, former husbands or wives, children and adults who are not capable and other family members.
She said the police statistics showed the number of cases reported increased each year at 66 per cent or 3,488 cases from 2013 to 5,796 cases in 2016.
“The rise in the number of cases reported is one of the indicators that the community generally understood and practised their rights as outlined under the act.
“It also proves that the level of public awareness on domestic violence is also increasing,” she said.
Chew said, in an effort to strengthen the Domestic Violence Act 1994, the ministry had also proposed that the act is amended to improve existing laws and to maintain its relevance to the current situation. — Bernama