WAO urges govt to increase availability of shelters for domestic violence survivors

KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) today called on the government to increase the availability of shelters for domestic violence survivors.

While protection services for domestic violence survivors are available during the conditional movement control order (CMCO), WAO said these services need to be strengthened and expanded further.

“In particular, the government must increase the availability of shelters. WAO is providing emergency temporary shelter, and there is an overwhelming demand for these services. Many other shelters are also full.

“To address the urgent need for shelters, the government should set up temporary shelters in hotels or hostels. The government can also collaborate with the private sector in providing shelter,” said WAO in a statement here today.

It said ensuring access to protection and shelter is critical given the current spike in domestic violence.

“Our records show that WAO Hotline calls and messages relating to domestic violence and child abuse reaches a new peak every week over the course of the MCO.

“In the third week of April, WAO Hotline calls and messages registered a four-fold increase compared to a typical week in February, before the MCO was imposed,” said the statement.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can contact the WAO Hotline at 03-7956 3488 or through WhatsApp at 018-9888 058, it added. — Bernama

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