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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 20 — The Penang government has turned 40 state assembly service centres into First Support Points in an effort to address and assist victims of domestic violence in the state.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that the Safe Family Policy introduced in October 2020 was a first step to establish support services and combat domestic violence cases, which had shown an increase since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented in March 2020.
“For example, calls to the hotline of the Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) increased by 267 per cent from the first week to the second week of MCO.
“Statistics from the Royal Malaysia Police in April 2020 show that there were 343 cases of domestic violence reported in Penang, compared with 226 cases in 2019.
Chow said this in his speech when presenting letters of appointment to First Support Points’ representatives, which was conducted virtually and broadcast live on his official Facebook account today.
He also said that the state government had established the First Support Point, which is a triparte effort between the government, grassroots communities and non-governmental organisations, to provide support to victims including referring cases of domestic violence to appropriate agencies systematically.
“The Covid-19 pandemic situation had limited people’s movements, and not everyone could seek help to the hospital, police station or Social Welfare Department office, which were located far from their homes.
“Therefore, by creating more support points, I am confident that victims of domestic violence can get help more effectively,” he said. — Bernama