In aid of needy women

A place to turn to: Wong (centre) speaking about providing assistance to women through the Legal Advisory Lawa at a press conference in Johor Baru while Lawa south Johor head Chang Mei Kee (left) and Gelang Patah MCA Wanita chief Nyam Mei Ting (right) look on.

JOHOR BARU: Calls about marital problems, domestic violence and sexual abuse may be coming in on a daily basis, but Johor MCA Wanita said that there were still a lot of women who were unsure of how to seek help when faced with such situations.

State MCA Wanita Chief Wong You Fong said due to communication barrier, fear and mental trauma, these women were not only afraid to come forward with their problems but they were also clueless about where to go.

“A lot of them come to us for advice on their husband’s extramarital affair and negligence and we try our best to mediate between the couple to talk it out and work out their problems before choosing to divorce as the last way out,” said Wong.

She said among the complaints received included child adoption through illegal channels that resulted in difficulty to obtain a MyKad for the child, extramarital and matrimonial affairs, domestic abuse and single mothers without financial independence.

“You’ll be surprised that some of them do not even know how to lodge a police report for cases like domestic violence, let alone seek legal help,” she said in a press conference on May 30.

Wong said this was where the state-level Legal Advisory and Women’s Aid Centre (Lawa) comes into the picture to better help such women seek for assistance through the MCA divisions.

She said through the centre, help could be provided in a more concentrated and systematic manner compared to through the party’s Public Services and Complaints Bureau as Lawa focused on issues concerning women of all races and backgrounds.

“We will reach out to women through division Wanita leaders as they know the locals better and will be easier to get in touch the people in their respective areas,” said Wong, a practicing lawyer of 20 years.

She added that Lawa was a federal initiative, which enables them to solve problems easier as the issues could be channelled to the respective departments and agencies such as the National Registration Department and Welfare Department.

Wong also said that Lawa branches were available in all states nationwide and the Johor branch could be reached at 07-223 6711 or its Johor bureau chief Helen Fong at 012-6603362.

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