WHAT reparation is there for a rape victim to put her life back together again?
The rape of a minor, a 15 year old student by some 30 men high on drugs and the abduction and beheading of a 2 year old girl by a stranger needs more than media reporting to bring to the forefront how heinous these and the many other violent crimes are against women and girls.
We at Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia (Sirom) strongly urge the Government to take immediate measures to implement a comprehensive, cohesive and systematic programme to eliminate violence against women and girls covering all aspects including the education of children and the public at all levels.
There is also a need to have standard operating procedures and safety measures by building owners at public amenities, stronger enforcement and punishment or rehabilitation to ensure that women do not suffer violence. Statutory reform should give “teeth” to these measures.
The recent setting up of one-stop crisis centres and counselling services at police stations are positive moves, however, a lot more needs to be made. Adhoc and piecemeal attempts to plug loopholes or in reaction to a crime will not produce a long term solution.
In this march by Malaysia towards developed nation status, the basic rights of women and girls to live peacefully and in a safe environment should be given greater priority. When will this happen? The “walk the talk” marches by Sirom to stop violence against women and its numerous nationwide awareness campaigns via its 14 clubs as well as initiatives by other NGOs should not go to waste, as without the Government’s firm initiative and intervention, we will continue to hear and read of sordid cases too late and lament the lack of action.
As a concerned stakeholder in eliminating violence against women, Sirom seeks the Government’s immediate intervention with the concerted efforts of relevant NGOs and the private sector to stop violence against women and girls.
Soroptimist International Region of Malaysia
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