KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic violence against women shouldÂ not be dealt as a private family matter, but a crime that can further escalate
to murder, said Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director SumitraÂ Visvanathan.
She said domestic violence was prevalent in Malaysia for a long period ofÂ time and had worsen over the years.
“It (domestic violence) has always existed. However, this has led to moreÂ deathly cases (in recent years). This is serious and must not be tolerated,” sheÂ told Bernama.
A study conducted by Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Womenâ€™s DevelopmentÂ Research Centre (KANITA) in 2014, revealed that nine percent of ever-partneredÂ women in Peninsular Malaysia experienced domestic violence at some point inÂ their lifetime.
Sumitra said law enforcement against domestic violence needed to beÂ strengthened and the cases perceived as a serious crime that could lead toÂ unwanted fatalities.
“Only then can there be better responses, better investigation of the crimeÂ by the police, better handling of evidence, more prosecutions and moreÂ convictions,” she added.
She advised women who were being abused or ill-treated by their partners toÂ not accept and tolerate the mistreatment.
“There is no excuse for abuse. Domestic violence is a crime. It is not aÂ family matter and it must not be kept a secret,” she added.
Despite many cases of domestic violence being reported, Sumitra said thereÂ was still not enough awareness on the dangers of domestic violence amongÂ Malaysians.
“We want Malaysians to stand up against this sort of violence. If you see itÂ happening, do something about it.
“Help the woman however you can. Let us all work together as a community toÂ end violence against women in their own homes.
“We all need to become more intolerant to domestic violence so that womenÂ feel that they are able to stand up against the violence and reach out forÂ help,” she said.– BERNAMA