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Supporting domestic violence survivors

Earlier this week, the sessions court instructed YouTuber Pavithra to submit a letter stating she does not wish to proceed with the domestic violence case against her husband. 

The reported abuse against Pavithra by her husband has received much public attention. We would like to make a few brief points.

First, no one deserves to be abused, or to have to choose between their safety and career. Domestic violence is a pattern of violence, abuse, or intimidation used to control or maintain power over a partner who is or has been in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence can involve physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological abuse.

Second, survivors’ autonomy should be prioritised. When deciding whether to proceed or withdraw the police report , many survivors consider many factors – like personal safety , children , finances and emotions . It’s a difficult decision but survivors are in the best position to assess their risks and make their own informed decisions.

Third, while we must respect survivors’ decisions, we must also ensure that adequate support systems exist — so that survivors can make the decisions best for them.

Towards this end, we must allocate sufficient resources to crisis services – through the federal budget. WAO’s recommendations for Budget 2021 include:

  • Additional RM50 million to build new crisis shelters and improve existing shelters for gender-based violence survivors.
  • Additional RM5 million to operate and improve 24-7 telephone and web-based crisis hotlines (both public and NGO-operated).
  • Create a separate annual fund of RM20 million to combat gender-based violence in future health and security emergencies.
  • Set up an interagency fund to train first-responders – including police, medical officers, and welfare officers handling gender-based violence.

Lastly, to anyone facing abuse out there, know that you are not alone. If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can reach out to:

    • Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO). Call 03 7956 3488 or WhatsApp TINA at 018 9888 058 (24 hours)
    • Women’s Centre for Change (WCC Penang). Call 04 228 0342 / 04 398 8340 or WhatsApp 011 3108 4001 / 016 439 0698 (Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm)

 

  • Talian Kasih Hotline 15999

 

  • Police. Report at any police station or call 999

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About Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

Since 1982, Women’s Aid Organisation has provided free shelter, counselling, and crisis support to women and children who experience abuse. We help women and their children rebuild their lives, after surviving domestic violence, rape, trafficking, and other atrocities. Learning from women’s experiences, we advocate to improve public policies and shift public mindsets. Together, we change lives.

Call the WAO Hotline at 03 7956 3488 or SMS/WhatsApp TINA at 018 988 8058 if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse. For more information, visit wao.org.my.

For more information, please contact:

Rusni Tajari, Senior Advocacy Officer
rusnitajari@wao.org.my / 60133802287

 

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