Better assistance for victims of violence


By AVA LAI

Fatimah (third from left) and SWWS president Margeret Bedus holding the planner for SWWS Sarawak Women Calling For Change.

KUCHING: Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Ministry will work together with the Sarawak Women and Women Society (SWWS) to provide better assistance for victims of violence and improve the legislation regarding women.

“The ministry, Family and Women Department and SWWS can work together to ensure the welfare of victims of violence, women and children are taken care of,” Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said after a meeting with SWWS in Kuching.

The parties discussed on areas where SWWS could play a lead role.

“We will look into refining the roles, standard operating procedures and how to improve the welfare assistance to shelters for victims of violence including domestic violence, abuse, rape or other types of abuse.

“We have determined the plans and role of the shelter homes as well as the provision of shelter for victims of violence (female victims). For existing facilities, we will look at how they can be further improved to provide the necessary help and assistance to the victims,” said Fatimah.

Currently, there are four shelter homes – Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Sri Aman.

The ministry and SWWK will further discuss the need to create more shelter homes and seek to reform or amend relevant legislations.

“There are laws that we feel are not women-friendly. There are some issues that we feel can be fixed, especially in divorce cases,” she said.

“We recognise the important role by NGO in carrying out awareness programme and advocacy work. By working together, we can complement one another and bring benefit to women and family,” said Fatimah.

“There will need to be further engagement to look into the details of what has been agreed during the meeting to be able to implement this year,” she added.

SWWS is an established NGO that won an award from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia as well as the state government’s award for excellence.

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