Implement emergency response to domestic violence amid Covid-19 crisis


The Women’s Aid Organisation in Malaysia has observed a 44% increase in calls to its domestic abuse hotline and WhatsApp inquiry number from February to March 2020. — 123rf.com

COVID-19 and the movement control order (MCO) has led to a spike in domestic violence and disrupted normal response systems. In light of this, the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) highlights some key challenges faced by domestic violence survivors during the MCO period and urge the government to take six urgent actions to address them. This response should be coordinated by the National Domestic Violence Committee, a multi-stakeholder committee led by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

In Malaysia, Talian Kasih observed a 57% increase in calls. Although not all of these calls are related to domestic violence, it is likely that domestic violence is one factor contributing to this spike. Meanwhile, WAO has observed a 44% increase in WAO Hotline calls and WhatsApp inquiries from February to March 2020.

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