By Emma Victoria
DESPITE a drop in domestic violence cases in Sarawak since the Movement Control Order (MCO), the government remains cautious.
According to FMT, Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said 60 cases were reported last month compared with 106 in January and 80 in February.
“What contributes to the decrease these cases in March during the enforcement of MCO?
“Could it be due to the fact that everyone is at home, thus acts as a deterrent factor? Or could it be due to the difficulty faced by the victims to make a report?” she asked.
Fatimah said the number of DV cases for April, will only be known at the end of the month.
Domestic violence has been rising in Sarawak with 486 cases in 2018 and 563 in 2019.
“Miri ranks highest in 2019 with 109 cases followed by Kuching 72 cases,” Fatimah said, adding that higher cases were reported in rural areas, with 305 in 2018 and 309 last year.
She added 181 cases were reported in the urban areas in 2018 and 254 in 2019.
Fatimah said drug or substance abuse tops the list of causes of domestic violence over the years in the state.
Citing an example, she said out of 246 cases reported in the first three months this year, 162 of them are due to substance abuse.
Most of the victims are the children with the parents as the main perpetrators.
“This means that the bulk of domestic violence is not between husband and wife, but between parents and their children,” she added.
Fatimah believed that addressing the domestic violence issue must be done holistically by engaging all the relevant stakeholders.
“The chain of commitment from all must not be broken,” she said.
She advised the victims to call the Helpline JKM 082-514141 or Helpline JWKS- 082-448866 to lodge their complaints.