KUCHING: A total of 826 victims of violence against women in Malaysia were successfully counselled and helped by the women anti-crime (WAJA) squad since January till Oct 20.

The WAJA Squad are volunteers under the supervision of the Women’s Development Department, and aim to empower the community through psychosocial and counselling activities to increase awareness against criminal issues.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun(pix) said under the ‘WAJA Squad Turun Padang programme’, volunteers managed to help 321 cases involving 4,571 individuals.

“The WAJA Squad’s role in the community, especially during the pandemic, is very meaningful as they managed to provide much-needed assistance,” she said in a statement in conjunction with the Semarak Sarawak WAJA Squad programme here yesterday.

Currently, there are 35,823 WAJA Squad members who have been trained and 862 of them are male.

“The involvement of men as WAJA Squad members is very much encouraged as it shows that the issue of violence against women is a shared issue,” Rina said.

According to her, 1,235 individuals in Sarawak have been trained and she urged more people to register as volunteers at https://www.rebrand.ly/pendaftaranskuadwaja or https://www.jpw.gov.my/.

During her visit, she also held a meet-and-greet session with Sarawak WAJA Squad members from Wanita Srikandi, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Ibnu Sina’s Medical Charity Organisation of Malaysia (PAPISMA) as well as other non-governmental organisations.

She also stopped at the Kuching Mamacare Mini Spa that was developed by the National Population and Family Development Board to help women in low-income households.-Bernama