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Further amendments proposed for Domestic Violence Act

21 Nov 2019 / 15:29 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Abusive parents can be removed from their own residence to ensure that their children do not end up in shelter homes.

This is among several proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act put forward by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) to protect children and other members of the family of abusers.

Another proposal is for interim or emergency protection orders to cover the entire family and not only the victim, Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh (pix) told Parliament today.

“Such drastic proposals are aimed at removing the abuser from the house,” she said in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) during Question Time.

The Domestic Violence Act 1995 was last amended in 2017 to expedite the issuance of a protection order and widen the definition of abuse to include psychological and emotional abuse.

Yeoh also revealed that as of June this year, her ministry had received 340 reports of domestic violence.

“Of these, 316 victims were females while 24 were males. Selangor top the lists with 91 cases, Pahang with 56 cases, and Kedah with 24 cases,” she said.

According to Yeoh, poor anger management was the cause of domestic violence against 57 female victims. Other causes of domestic violence against female victims were misunderstandings (48 cases) and drug abuse (43 cases).

However, she also admitted that there were weakness in the current system as the police recorded 3,139 domestic abuse cases in the same period or nearly 10 times the number reported to the Welfare Department.

“There’s a lack of coordination here and this issue must be addressed soon,” she said.

As such, this was one of the issues that would be addressed by the special committee set up to tackle domestic violence, she added.

The committee, comprising representatives from 16 government agencies and women’s non-governmental organisations, will hold its first meeting on Nov 28.

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