“婦女援助組織”（WAO）新聞聲明 24-06-2014 https://twitter.com/ChachaSiu/status/492151340169064448 身為母親，須付出多大的努力才能達成與孩子一起生活的心願？ 在馬來西亞，2個孩子的媽媽──蒂巴，以及更多與她相同處境的婦女，必須克服重重障礙，以求和自己的孩子在一起生活。 而如今，蒂巴面對的問題尚未解決，她正面臨政府擺出的更多難關。 我們的社會制度已經使蒂巴遭受不公正的對待。她的前夫在她不知情之下，竟被允許把2個孩子帶去改教。伊斯蘭法庭認為，無需對蒂巴進行審訊，甚至未聆聽蒂巴的證詞，即發出撫養權予蒂巴的前夫。 事實上，蒂巴的前夫被指行為粗爆，蒂巴並已就此向警察報案超過25次，但顯然此事並未受到重視。 蒂巴相信法庭將做出公正的判決。在她與前夫當年辦理結婚手續的民事法庭上，法官在聆聽蒂巴與她前夫的證詞後，把撫養權判給了蒂巴，其前夫則獲得探視權。 惟2天後，蒂巴的前夫強行帶走6歲的兒子。他申請暫緩執行撫養權庭令，不過他的申請同時遭高庭和上訴庭駁回。高庭和上訴庭維持蒂巴獲得撫養權的判決。 雖然如此，警方卻以庭令與伊斯蘭法庭相衝突為理由，而拒絕執行撫養權庭令。 不過，蒂巴並未放棄，她從高庭取得歸還令──指示警察須帶回她的兒子。 時至今日，歸還令沒有被遵守，全國總警長和總檢察長已申請干預法庭程序，中止執行歸還令。 當事情牽涉到孩子時，母親要求享有與父親同等的決定權，又，當婚姻發生問題時，尋求透過莊嚴的婚姻法律來解決問題，算是過分的要求？ 難道，孩子對於他們自己的未來，沒有發言權嗎？…
On Saturday 3 December 2011, WAO’s Letter to the Editor was published in The Star.
Don’t blame women for violence
WOMEN’s Aid Organisation (WAO) is disappointed by the comments reportedly made by the Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie in the report “Nosy in-laws may turn outlaws when Act is amended” (The Star, Nov 29).
In speaking about the amended Domestic Violence Act (DVA), which is due to be tabled in the Dewan Negara on Dec 9, the deputy minister reportedly said that “There have been many cases where mothers-in-law, grandmothers and stepmothers were instrumental in causing the offenders to abuse their wives or children.”
The deputy minister’s comments are regrettable as she seems to be placing the blame on women for the violent actions of others. Perpetrators of violence and abuse are responsible for their own actions – they are never blameless.
While it may be the case that the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has received complaints of this nature, in the experience of WAO, an NGO that has assisted survivors of domestic violence for almost 30 years, this is a rare occurrence.
It is often the case that a perpetrator of domestic violence, usually a partner, husband or ex-husband, recruits others, sometimes gangsters, personal investigators or other acquaintances, to threaten their victim, which causes further fear and trauma.
The DVA was recently amended to cover these types of perpetrators who commit domestic violence through third parties. Once the amended DVA is gazetted, a court will be able to include in an Interim Protection Order a provision prohibiting a perpetrator from inciting another person to commit any act of domestic violence.
These amendments are positive, as perpetrators will continue to be held responsible for the abuse they carry out themselves as well as the violence they incite others to commit.
It is a shame that the deputy minister has chosen to make comments blaming women for acts of domestic violence committed by others.
It is especially unfortunate that she made these comments during “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence”, a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of gender-based violence that runs from Nov 25 until Dec 10.
WOMEN’S AID ORGANISATION, Petaling Jaya.
Click here to see the Letter to the Editor on The Star website.