KUALA LUMPUR: It’s imperative for the Home Ministry and the Attorney-General to improve the conviction rate in domestic violence cases, said Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching in a statement. “Our government must also step in and make available the resources necessary to guarantee stability and safety for families who face the sudden loss of their rice bowl.”
“It’s undeniable that there’s a strong direct association between economic stress and domestic violence.”
At the same time, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development must strengthen social welfare programmes to appropriately meet the needs of battered women and their children, she added.
Although domestic violence was not exclusively a crime against women, women constitute a significant percentage of those individuals experiencing intimate partner violence, noted the MP. “In Malaysia, women represent three-quarters of the victims.”
She was commenting on the latest figures given by Deputy Home Minister Masir Anak Kujat in Parliament on March 10 on domestic violence. “It shows that a batterer was empowered by his victim’s financial dependence, making housewives and unemployed wives the largest victim group of domestic violence.”
The story does not end there, she noted. “Research further shows that financial instability was one of the greatest reasons why a woman who experiences battering has limited choices and may ultimately acquiesce to her partner’s attempts to reconcile.”
“As long as the victim remains financially dependent upon her abuser, it is exceedingly difficult for a woman who experiences intimate partner violence to put a stop to the batterer’s control over her.”
Unemployment not only renders a woman more vulnerable in a relationship, but it also increases the risk of domestic violence, warned Teo.
In 2014, she said, 2333 or 47 per cent of the suspects were unemployed, the number increased to 3286 or 64 per cent in 2015 and at the same time, the unemployment rate has increased from 2.9 per cent in 2014 to 3.13 per cent in 2015.