JULY 9 — Following the announcement by the National Security Council (NSC) to implement an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) in several areas in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, Women’s Aid Organisations (WAO) would like to recommend three important considerations for the Domestic Violence Committee (JKRT).
In the past week, WAO has received 12 domestic violence assistance requests to escape from their homes/perpetrators. We fear that there will be an increasing need for support and we would like to request the committee to take immediate steps to ensure that DV survivors can get the necessary and adequate support during this EMCO period.
The three recommendations action are as follows;
Any SOP changes in the DV survivor assistance pathways must be communicated to all frontliners and the general public (e.g EPO application processes, IPO, admission to safe place/shelters, reminder that OSCCs are still operating and accept survivors).
Exceptions to be granted for DV survivors to cross the 10km boundary for the purpose of accessing police assistance, hospitals or safe transit centres to be announced along with other EMCO SOPs. This recommendation is proposed based on the practice by other countries such as the United Kingdom which explicitly identifies DV survivors as among those allowed to travel when a lockdown is enforced: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/faced-mounting-cases-england-announces-new-lockdown-n1252748
To ensure Public Service Announcements (PSA) include the following;
A clear message that domestic Violence is a crime - an act against the law - and survivors can still access help during the lockdown.
A clear message that support and protection can still be accessed by survivors during lockdown.
Any changes in terms of procedures (e.g IPO application process, admission to safe place, OSCCs are still operating to receive victims).
Exceptions/arrangements that need to be made so that DV survivors can leave their house especially if they need to cross the 10km boundary to reach the safe place (e.g how to get travel permit for survivors).
Methods and platforms of Public Service Announcements (PSA) on domestic violence are diversified (e.g via SMS, during daily announcements by the NSC. Minister, national news, social media).
WAO will continue to provide support services to DV survivors during the lockdown in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government. We thank the government and all frontliners, including police, welfare officers, and hospital workers, for their continued service to the people during this time.
Call the WAO Hotline at +603 3000 8858 or SMS/Whatsapp TINA at 018 988 8058 if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse. For more information, visit wao.org.my.
* This is the personal opinion of the writers or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.