Male domestic abuse victims require attention too

male-abusePETALING JAYA: Men should stand up for their own kind, especially for the sake of those among them who are silent victims of domestic abuse.

This is because some men are still reluctant to go to the authorities themselves, despite the rising number of cases involving domestic violence against their gender, Sabah Women’s Action-Resources Group (Sawo) president Winnie Yee said.

“Men should come forward to address this issue and provide support to those who need help.

“Just as women’s organisations like us are providing help to other women, men should do the same,” she told FMT.

According to Yee, regardless of a person’s gender, everyone has a sense of humanity and the responsibility to help those who are in need.

In April, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim said there had been a rise in domestic violence cases against men. Between 2014 and 2016, there were 15,617 cases of domestic violence reported and from those, 26% were against the male spouse.

Meanwhile, International Islamic University of Malaysia associate professor Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, when contacted, reiterated her call for the formation of a “men’s affairs department” under the relevant ministry.

She said this would be a good start to address domestic violence against men. The department should also be equipped with the capability to one day help empower such male victims, she added.

“Men should lead their families, not be controlled by women. Empowering men can allow them to be a better head of the family,” Yee said.

The Women’s Aid Organisation (WOA) however said violence against women was a more serious matter.

“Violence against women is by and large more prevalent, as it is rooted in societal attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality.

“In domestic violence cases, 47% of the suspects are husbands or ex-husbands, while only 1% of the suspects are wives, and this is according to police reports filed in 2015,” a WAO spokesperson said in a text message to FMT.

She added that the remaining 52% of abuse cases involve other family members.

Afiqah Farieza contributed to this article.