24-hour hotline for domestic violence victims in Sarawak

hotline-woman-abuseMIRI: Haliza Zurah Zulkefeli was a victim of domestic violence, but fought and won her case at the court of law in Sibu last year.

Now the 36-year old Kuala Lumpur-born medical doctor intends to do more for victims of domestic violence in Sarawak with the establishment of the Women’s Organisation for Change (WOC), so that they will not suffer in silence.

WOC was established in August 2016 and in January this year, set up its own hotline.

“WOC’s vision was inspired by my own personal experience of being a victim of domestic violence, not knowing where to go to get help while I was working in Sibu,” she told Bernama.

Dr Haliza, who is a mother of three and WOC president, said the organisation was formed when a group of women from Sarikei and Sibu wanted to assist other women, who were victims of domestic violence.

She said the 24-hour WOC hotline at 0138242128 started operation in Jan 2017 to encourage victims of domestic violence to seek help by calling or chatting through the WhatApp application.

“The hotline’s main objective is to assist victims by giving step-by-step guidance on how to cease being a victim and how to get help from the relevant authorities. However, the response so far has been lukewarm,” she said, adding that the WOC would refer victims of domestic violence to lawyers that have links to the organisation.

Haliza said the WOC also organised seminars, workshops and talks on domestic violence in Sarawak and was working with the government on the possibility of setting up a shelter home for domestic violence victims in Sarawak.

“We hope the relevant authorities can assist us by providing a permanent social worker and an office for our organisation,” she added.