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Unveiling of National Standards for Domestic Violence Shelters

Press Release, 09 March 2016 Ara Damansara.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) unveiled today the Domestic Violence Shelter Standards and Toolkit, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development (KPWKM). Two survivors shared their stories of how WAO’s shelter and support services helped them to overcome the trauma of domestic violence and become empowered and engaged citizens.

This is part of an important joint government-NGO initiative to expand the availability of safe spaces for women and children who are surviving domestic violence. Tashia Peterson, Vice President of WAO, stated that, “We want every woman survivor of domestic violence to have safe and supportive shelter as an alternative to living in violence. This should be our collective goal. Today, we celebrate our collaboration with the Ministry of Women to develop standards that can ensure the woman survivor will always receive the level of service and protection that is her right under the law.”

At the event today at Sime Darby Plantation Tower, the Minister of Women, Family, and Community Development, Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim, emphasized the government’s commitment to protect women from violence. “I feel proud of the efforts that my Ministry has taken with Women’s Aid Organisation in developing the Domestic Violence Shelter Standards and Toolkit. This shows that we, as Malaysians, are dedicated to eliminating violence and discrimination against women in our society. I am delighted to work with women’s groups to ensure good government policy is effectively implemented to achieve gender equality in Malaysia.”

The Domestic Violence Shelter Standards and Toolkit is the culmination of months of development, wherein WAO collaborated with survivors of domestic violence, thirteen NGOs and the nine government agencies legally mandated to protect women survivors of domestic violence.

The project is an initiative funded by the High Commission of Canada. Her Excellency Judith St. George, High Commissioner for Canada in Malaysia said, “Canada is committed to the elimination of violence against women and we are proud to support this important initiative demonstrating effective partnership between civil society and government.”

Today’s event was hosted by Yayasan Sime Darby, a long-term partner of WAO since 2010 until December 2016.  It was attended by representatives from LPPKN, MOE, and numerous NGOs. Speaking at the press conference today, Yayasan Sime Darby Governing Council Member YBhg. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman said, “In most instances, incidences of violence against women are kept under wraps out of fear and helplessness. Yayasan Sime Darby is a strong advocate of ending violence against women and children. With our assistance, to date a total of 840 women and 703 children have been assisted through the dedicated support of WAO’s social workers to help these women get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.”

“Yayasan Sime Darby is honoured to be part of WAO’s impactful advocacy efforts in pushing for policy changes, which has resulted with the inclusion of psychological abuse in the Domestic Violent Act 1994 and the recent guidelines of the nine different government and law enforcement agencies in handling domestic violence cases in the country. I believe that the marginalised groups will benefit through coordinated efforts and long-term fundings from corporate bodies to complement the Government’s efforts to end violence against women,” she added.


         For more information, contact:

                          Natasha Dandavati, 016 718 3237

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