With the number of domestic violence cases on the rise since the start of the Movement Control order (MCO), entering the conditional MCO (CMCO), Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) continues to offer its services in protecting domestic violence survivors.
These protection mechanisms include police reports, Interim Protection Orders, Emergency Protection Orders, and medical care at the One Stop Crisis Centres in government hospitals.
There are three main ways for survivors to obtain protection:
1. Lodging a police report
Survivors can go to a police station to lodge a police report and to simultaneously apply for an Interim Protection Order (IPO), which is valid throughout the police investigation.
Upon receiving the survivor’s police report and IPO request, the police officer can contact a senior registrar at the relevant court to arrange for the IPO to be issued.
Alternatively, the police officer can notify a Social Welfare Department officer, who will then contact the senior registrar at the court. During the MCO, the courts have designated certain senior registrars to handle IPO applications.
For survivors who are trapped at home and are unable to get to a police station, they can instead call 999 and request to be rescued and brought to the police station.
All police reports about crimes under Malaysian law, including domestic violence, will be investigated as usual during the CMCO period.
2. Contacting Talian Kasih
Survivors can also contact Talian Kasih at 15999 or through WhatsApp at 019 261 5999 to request for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO), which is issued by the Social Welfare Department (JKM) and lasts for seven days.
3. Go to the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC)
Lastly, survivors can go to the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC), which is located in the emergency room of government hospitals where survivors can get a medical examination—the results of which may be used as evidence—as well as to lodge a police report and initiate the IPO application process.
All OSCCs are still operating as usual, however, as a precaution, survivors should always wear face masks, sanitise their hands regularly, and practice social distancing when visiting the OSCC.
While WAO will continue to offer its services for domestic violence survivors the organisation urges the government to increase the availability of shelters as there is an overwhelming demand for these services.
The organisation recommends that the government set up temporary shelters in hotels or hostels or even collaborate with the private sector in providing shelter.
Based on WAO reports, WAO hotline calls and messages relating to domestic violence and child abuse reaches a new peak every week over the course of the MCO.
In the third week of April, WAO Hotline calls and messages registered a four-fold increase compared to a typical week in February, before the MCO was imposed.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can contact the WAO Hotline at 03 7956 3488 or through WhatsApp at 018 9888 058.
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya