KUALA LUMPUR: One should not mind being “nosy” when it comes to helping prevent domestic violence.
Criminologist Saiful Hamiruzzaman, who is a member of the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), said residents should not ignore signs of domestic violence taking place in their neighbourhoods.
“To prevent violence and crime, you need to be concerned. You need to be nosy because it is important,” he said.
Saiful said many people did not even know their immediate neighbours, and this made it easier for cases of domestic violence to go undetected.
Speaking to The Star after a talk on “How To Be Your Own Bodyguard” at the Walk The Talk: Stop Violence Against Women 2016 event here yesterday, Saiful said that residents should contact the police if they suspected cases of domestic violence in their neighbourhoods.
“Just call the police, they will know what to do.
“If you hear shouting or screaming, rather than going to the house yourself, call the police at once,” he said.
On what women could do when faced with violence, Saiful said it was best “to walk away from the danger”.
“If the ones threatening you are criminals, give them what they want and you will be safe.
“Keep the distance between you and the criminal, and you will have a chance to get away.
“It’s not important to defend yourself; the most important thing is to survive,” he said, adding that one should only fight to get away.
According to Saiful, the situation was more complex when it came to domestic violence.
“This is where education and awareness of domestic violence is important,” he said.
MCPF senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said awareness on violence against women among Malaysians was still low today.
“Many Malaysians still think that violence against women only refers to physical abuse, but it goes beyond that,” said Lee.
Many, he added, still did not know that emotional and verbal abuse were also deemed as violence against women.
He said that a low level of awareness on violence against women was one of the reasons that prevented the victims from seeking help.
Lee said it was disappointing that such acts also went unreported due to reasons such as stigma and taboo.