Domestic violence: 12 mosques in FT to serve as complaint, counselling centres, says Nancy

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 12 mosques in the Federal Territories have been selected as centres to receive complaints and provide counselling for victims of domestic violence, who need advice, psychological support or counselling, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

Additionally, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister said that two mosques, namely the Federal Territory Mosque (Jalan Duta) and Al Ghufran Mosque (Taman Tun Dr Ismail) in Kuala Lumpur were chosen as transit centres for domestic violence victims to enable them to seek protection.

"The ministry is collaborating with the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) to establish transit centres for domestic violence victims in mosques in the Federal Territories.

"This initiative is implemented to expand the functions of mosques as local community centres, which will provide various facilities covering psychological and spiritual needs,” she said in her speech at Eliminate Violence Against Women (EVAW), here Saturday (Nov 25).

Nancy said that this initiative has been implemented since 2021, under the Jawi's plan for mosques.

She said that the issue of domestic violence against women and girls is always the main focus, because it cuts across borders, religion, race and culture.

She added that, based on a United Nations (UN) report, almost one in three women around the world experience physical or sexual violence at least once in their lives.

"This tragedy has spread to various situations and circumstances, including in public places, workplaces and online, as well as having been exacerbated by the effects of post-pandemic Covid-19.

"There are five identified forms of violence which can happen to women, namely physical, sexual, social and financial, as well as psychological and emotional abuse,” she said.

"The community is more aware of physical and sexual abuse. However, many are less aware of the other types of violence against women. Threats, insults and degrading women are forms of psychological and emotional abuse,” she said.

Nancy added that, based on police statistics, a total of 9,334 cases of violence against women, involving domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment, were recorded in 2021 nationwide, and 8,580 cases in 2022. This year, as of August, a total of 5,050 cases have been reported.

Nancy said that in dealing with the issue of domestic violence against women, the ministry has implemented Anti-Sexual Harassment Advocacy (AAGS), to provide awareness and education regarding sexual harassment, so that the culture of normalising sexual harassment can be eliminated, and as of Monday (Nov 20) a total of 66 AAGS programmes, involving 19,423 participants, have been implemented.

Meanwhile, in connection with a senior citizen allegedly committing sexual assault on two girls at a temporary evacuation centre which housed flood victims in the Kuala Nerus district, Nancy said that the victims have been given counselling, while the suspect has been arrested. - Bernama

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