Violence victims told: You are not alone

SIBU: One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) here is reaching out to the public by creating awareness of its existence and rendering help to survivors of various forms of violence that can destroy lives.

The organisation this week handed out its “Say No to Violence” posters to schools and grassroot community leaders at an exhibition.

Speaking at the event, divisional health officer Dr Mohamad Rais Abdullah said there was a need to publicise more of the centre as not many people were aware of its existence.

“OSCC is a body under one roof where together with the police, Welfare Department, hospital and legal aid bureau, it provides help to victims of violence,” he added.

Incidences of violence in the town, he said, had shown an increase over a three-year period.

In 2013, he said, there were 208 reported cases, an increase to 244 in 2014 while for the first eight months of this year, the total cases reported were 128.

Say no to violence: Lau (from row fifth from left) with Dr Rais on her left and others holding the poster.
Know your rights: Lau (front row centre), Dr Rais (on her left) and others holding the ‘Say No to Violence’ posters.

The figures, he said, were just a tip on the iceberg as there were still a number of unreported cases.

“Victims of violence do not come forward to report as they were either shy, scared or were not aware of the existence of the centre,” he added.

According to its statistics, most of the reported cases involved physical violence of 162 in 2013, 163 in 2014 and 70 for the first eight months of this year.

Rape cases constituted 40 in 2013, 50 in 2014 and 30 for this year.

Centre chairman Datuk Janet Lau concurred with Dr Rais as she said despite its formation in 1997, a lot of people here were still not aware its services.

“Because of this, we have to organise this exhibition to create awareness of our existence and also to reduce the number of rate of abuse through education,” she said.

Explaining further on its services, she said when a violence victim was admitted to the hospital, the authorities there would report the case to the police.

From there the Welfare Department would come in to help together with OSCC and the legal aid bureau.

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