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Domestic violence a seizable offence, police must know the law

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

Press statement, 16 October 2014


For more information:

Yu Ren Chung, Advocacy Officer, 03 7957 5636


We refer to the article published in The Star on 12 October 2014, entitled “Woman attacked by hubby while praying”, where Fadzilah Ismail was reportedly beaten up by her husband for three hours.

The article reported that “Kangar OCPD Supt Abdul Rahman Mohd Noordin said they were investigating the case for voluntarily causing hurt,” and that the OCPD said that “No arrest has been made so far as we need a court order.” We are extremely concerned by this statement.

A court order is not needed to arrest an alleged domestic violence perpetrator.

The Domestic Violence Act 1994 was amended in 2012, to make offences involving domestic violence seizable (arrestable without a warrant). If an alleged domestic violence perpetrator is a threat to the safety of the survivor, then the perpetrator can and should be arrested.

It was not reported whether or not an Interim Protection Order (IPO) has been issued for Fadzilah; we certainly hope it has. The IPO is a crucial document which protects domestic violence survivors from further abuse as it notifies the alleged abuser to refrain from any acts of violence, including threats. Police can help obtain an IPO for a domestic violence victim within 24-hours of a police report.

When functioning correctly, the police force stands between survivors and further violence. The police force must be absolutely clear about their duties in handling domestic violence cases.

For this reason, WAO is looking forward to the publication of the “Inter-agency Working Together Document to Handle Domestic Violence Cases”. This Working Together Document details the duties of the police and other relevant government agencies in handling domestic violence cases. We commend the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development for committing to launch the Working Together Document on 25 November 2014, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

We must work together towards ending domestic violence. We urge members of the public to call our helpline at 03 7956 3488 if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, or SMS TINA at 018 988 8058 for a friend to talk to.


Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) provides shelter, social work, and counselling services for domestic violence survivors and advocates for women’s human rights. Call our helpline at 03 7956 3488 if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, or SMS TINA at 018 988 8058 for a friend to talk to. Together, we change lives.

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