KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 – Between 2020 and 2022, the Social Welfare Department (JKM) recorded 18,750 cases of child abuse, encompassing physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, and the absence of parents, among others.
In the same period, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) recorded 13,529 cases of domestic violence, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) Nancy Shukri said in a written parliamentary reply last June 20.
She was responding to Senator Koh Nai Kwong, who requested statistics on the cases of women and children in the country who suffered abuse from 2020 until now. Senator Koh also wanted to know what measures KPWKM were taking to address the problem.
In her response, Nancy said her ministry has conducted a range of prevention, advocacy, rehabilitation, support and protection programmes to tackle the issue of violence against women and children as follows:
- Establishing the KafeTEEN youth centre.
- Organising a campaign on combating online sexual crimes against children.
- Activating the role of the community through the establishment of child protection teams (PPKK) and child welfare teams (PKKK).
- Enlisting the assistance of Skuad WAJA to assist women who have suffered from abuse.
- Working in collaboration with government agencies and NGOs to run awareness campaigns for the general public.
- Establishing a committee to address domestic violence, whose role is to formulate the best solutions to tackle the problem.
- Collaboration with other agencies.
- Establishment of the Talian Kasih hotline 15999.
- Development of child placement guidelines for managing the placement of children with foster parents or other qualified and appropriate persons.
- Formulation of a guideline for handling domestic violence cases.
Rehabilitation And Protection Services
- Placing children at the Institusi Kanak-Kanak (children’s institution) under JKM.
- Providing counselling services which are available at any JKM office throughout the country.
Nancy said the proposal to establish a special department for children will enable the provision of more comprehensive support services for children. At the end of last year, she announced that Cabinet had agreed to the establishment of a special department to focus on the welfare of children.
“It is believed to be the start of a more progressive direction for the safety and wellbeing of children in Malaysia,” the minister said.
“Meanwhile, for the delivery of specialised services for women, the Department of Women Development (JPW) will continue to run a number of programmes and activities to empower women.”
The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2022, conducted by the Institute of Public Health (IKU) under the Ministry of Health, recently also revealed some startling findings about violence and abuse against women and children in Malaysia.