WAO launches child domestic violence report

12 Apr 2019 / 19:29 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Women’s Aid Organisation’s (WAO) launched its first report highlighting the experiences of child domestic violence survivors in Malaysia today at the Rehda Institute this morning.

The report titled ‘Where’s the Child?: The Rights of Child Domestic Violence Survivors’ revolves around 21 case studies of child survivors and puts forward recommendations to policymakers to incorporate child rights into domestic violence responses.

“We need to be more alert with our children, to be aware if there’s been a change in attitude and behaviour, to see the extent of negative behaviour and if it’s a consequential effect of parents’ marital problem,” Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said in her speech.

Earlier, WAO held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new green childcare centre, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project by Rehda Youth in partnership with the WAO.

The centre, which will be home to over 20 children, will be the first of its kind in Malaysia to help children heal from such trauma.

Rehda Youth advisor and GreenRE Director said Teo Chui Ping said their goal was to design a loving and nurturing home for children, one that wouldn’t feel like a typical shelter or crisis centre.

“We used green design principles, such as ensuring sufficient daylight and natural ventilation. This creates a comfortable living space for children. We also designed a special child therapy room in the home,” he said.

WAO President Carol Chin said a nurturing home environment provides children with stability, which supports their healing and development.

“In domestic violence situations, a child’s entire world descends into chaos. The child loses a sense of structure, which is needed for psychosocial development.

“We strive to recreate a home environment, in which children can regain a sense of stability and normalcy. This provides the foundation for them to heal and thrive,” she said.

The project is a rebuilding of WAO’s childcare centre, which was previously destroyed in a fire in 2016.

The building is expected to be completed in a year.

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