SHAH ALAM: There were 90 domestic violence cases reported to the Selangor Welfare Department throughout the initial months of the movement control order (MCO) in the state.
Selangor Health, Welfare, Women Empowerment and Family Committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said the highest number, ten cases, was recorded in the Kota Anggerik constituency followed by seven cases in the Bukit Gasing constituency.
Dr Siti Mariah was responding to a question from Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong on the matter at the state legislative assembly sitting Monday (July 13).
She said the state government was always concerned about domestic violence and initiated the necessary measures to address it through the Selangor Welfare Department.
She explained that among the measures taken, were helping victims file interim protection orders in court, providing transportation for them to go to alternative homes, safe places or shelters as well as to hospital and medical facilities if they suffered injuries.
Dr Siti Mariah added other forms of help offered included educating the victims on their rights to obtain protection from domestic violence, accompanying them to their homes to remove belongings, providing financial aid if they qualify for it, and providing support and counselling services if the need arises.
According to Dr Siti Mariah, the state has also collaborated with the Womens’ Aid Organisation (WAO) to conduct a community programme providing the necessary help for women exposed to domestic violence during the MCO.
She added that the effort saw the WAO receiving an increase in calls – 266 calls in January, 250 calls in February, 361 calls in March and 898 calls in April – from people exposed to domestic violence.
“Apart from that, 21 women and children were successfully given protection from mid-April to end-May after they suffered domestic violence,” said Dr Siti Mariah.
She added that the 10 women and their 11 children, who were provided with a safe place to stay, were from Ampang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Rawang and Kajang.
“The state government is of the opinion that domestic violence needs combined effort and cooperation from all relevant parties to be curtailed,” said Dr Siti Mariah.
She added that apart from enforcement by the police and the welfare department, other measures that can be taken were formulating an emergency response framework, strengthening access to essential services and temporary safe places to stay as well as creating support for frontliners such as police and welfare officers and hospital staff, who handle domestic violence cases.