THE 40 state constituency service centres in Penang have been appointed First Support Points to assist victims of domestic violence.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that after taking into account current needs, the state was determined to continue efforts to provide protection and eradicate the violence while creating a safe environment for families and communities.
He was speaking after presenting appointment letters to First Support Points representatives during a virtual event on his official Facebook account.
Chow thanked those who attended the Safe Family Policy workshop last year.
“The workshop which was attended by government staff, officers at assemblymen’s service centres and members of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was aimed at giving them the skills to be First Support Points.
“Penang introduced the Safe Family Policy in October last year as the first step in creating support services to combat domestic violence cases.
“There was an alarming increase after the movement control order (MCO) was implemented in March 2020.
“For example, calls to the Women’s Centre for Change hotline increased by 267% from the first week to the second week of the MCO.”
The state government created the First Support Point which is a tripartite effort among the government, grassroots community and NGOs.
“This First Support Point was established by government agencies, religious offices, state constituency service centers, Village Community Management Councils, Women and Family Development Committee, NGOs and religious organisations.
“The role of the First Support Point is to channel cases of domestic violence to appropriate agencies systematically.
“The pandemic has limited the movement of the people and not everyone can seek help from
hospitals, police stations or Welfare Department offices which may be far from their homes.
“I am confident that by creating more support points, victims can get help more effectively, ” said Chow.
Meanwhile, state social development committee chairman Chong Eng said as a First Support Point, the representatives might face a number of challenges
“The state is always ready to help you to find a solution.
“Your challenge can be channelled to the family and children affairs unit of the Penang Women Development Corporation, ” she said.