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Using Law to Combat DV

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Using the law to combat domestic violence

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Using Law to Combat DV

  1. 1. 2013 Asian Conference of Women’s Shelters Asian Network of Women's Shelter 2-4 December, Taiwan Challenges and Breakthroughs for Women’s Shelters in Asia
  2. 2. Using the law to combat domestic violence Ivy Josiah Executive Director Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) www.wao.org.my ivyjosiah@gmail.com Twitter @womensaidorg @ivyjosiah
  3. 3. Today’s talk will be on:  About Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)  WAO’s  How Refuge/Shelter practice the law is used to combat domestic violence
  4. 4. WAO VIDEO   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KND9ceoeF4A  “
  5. 5. HERSTORY  August 1982 - Malaysia’s first Refuge/Shelter for battered women and their children • The fundamental belief of WAO: no one deserves to be battered. • We uphold the self-dignity of every human being in our society, both men and women
  6. 6. 31 years later…  Shelter to 120 women and 145 children  Telephone counselling to over 1,000 women  Face–to–face counselling to 100 women  Child Care Centre – 30 children per year  Drop In Centre for face to face counselling
  7. 7. WAO’s Refuge/Shelter practice
  8. 8. Guiding principles  Believe the survivors  Ensure physical safety of victims/survivors - risk assessment  Adopt a No Blame approach  Empwer women from crisis to confidence
  9. 9. Guiding principles  Reject ideologies that excuse or justify men’s violence  Hold perpetrators responsible for the abuse  Perpetrators abuse can choose to stop the
  10. 10. Overall Work – the big picture  WE are inspired by women’s lived realities to work towards gender equality and justice
  11. 11. 11 Women in Crisis Seek Help from WAO Lobby Government to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women WAO Social Workers Support & Empower Women Identify Laws & Policies that need Reform WAO Programme Officers Document Cases
  12. 12. How the law is used to combat domestic violence
  13. 13. The law and domestic violence  Malaysia passed its Domestic Violence Act in 1994 after 9 years of lobbying the government  It took another 2 years before the law was implemented in June 1996
  14. 14. Protest by women’s groups in 1996
  15. 15. The law encouraged women to report  By end 1997, almost one and half years after the law was put into action in June 1996, there was a 150% increase in police reports  The Malaysian DVA applies to all members of the family including the ex spouse
  16. 16. Police Reports Domestic Violence Outrage of Abuse of Child Sexual Rape         Incest           Modesty Domestic Abuse         Harassment in           (Molestatio Workers              the Workplace n) 2000 3468 1217 213 56 146 1234 112 2001 3107 1386 246 66 150 1393 86 2002 2755 1431 306 39 123 1522 84 2003 2555 1479 254 40 119 1399 82 2004 3101 1760 334 66 148 1661 119 2005 3093 1931 295 37 189 1746 102 2006 3264 2454 332 45 141 1349 101 2007 3756 3098 360 39 196 2243 195 2008 3769 3409 334 unavailable unavailable 2131 unavailable 2009 3643 3626 385 unavailable 203 2110 unavailable 2010 3173 3595 unavailable unavailable 257 2054 unavailable 2011 3277 3301 342 78 242 1941 unavailable 2012 3488 2998 302 29 285 1803 unavailable
  17. 17. LAW REGULATES RIGHTS A law validate DV survivors' experience A law guarantees legal aid, protection and redress A law hold perpetrators accountable
  18. 18. The DV law must:  Prevent  Protect  Prosecute and investigate  Punish  Provide Redress
  19. 19. The 5 P’s of Due Diligence to Eliminate Violence Against Women  PREVENT Prevention includes measures taken by the State to stop VAW from occurring -awareness campaigns, training and education.  PROTECT Protection keeps the victim/survivor safe from present harm.  This includes avoiding the re-occurrence of further violence and ensuring the victim/survivor receives adequate and timely services.
  20. 20. The 5 P’s of Due Diligence to Eliminate Violence Against Women  PROSECUTE AND INVESTIGATE Investigation and prosecution are actions taken by the Government when it knows of VAW incidences. It allows victims/survivors to take steps to try to stop VAW without fear of repercussions.   PUNISH Punishment is something negative imposed on the perpetrator of VAW as a consequence of his/her having committed VAW.  PROVIDE REDRESS Redress is any form of compensation or reparations available to a victim/survivor of VAW. This could take different forms, from monetary compensation and apology to symbolic reparations.
  21. 21. A domestic violence law must not:  Must Not force mediation – marriage counseling  Must Not take away the decision from the woman  Must Not allow the perpetrator /father complete access to the children. Supervised access
  22. 22. 3 components to the Law  Substance  Structure  Culture of the law of the law of the law – attitudes of the police, the welfare, the courts, the hospital.
  23. 23. Working With the Police Tanya Brannan, Purple Berets
  24. 24. Experiences of domestic violence complainants at the Police station  Good  Non judgemental  Informs her of her rights -protection orders  Bad  Minimizes the violence  Acts as marriage counsellor    Conducts little or poor investigation Asks her if she needs shelter Gives her a number of an NGO in case she needs counselling
  25. 25. The Bad Police – Plays on your fear  Do you want your husband in jail ah?
  26. 26. Good police response  You were kept informed about the progress of the investigation  All the witnesses are interviewed by the investigating officer  Phone calls to the investigating officer were returned in a timely manner  Felt that the investigating officer was concerned about your safety throughout the investigation
  27. 27. The Good Police – Cares for your safety  Assessing  Risk Before the interview, investigating officer ask you if you had fears or concerns about reporting the crime or about prosecuting the perpetrator
  28. 28. Did the violence stop when the law intervened?  Yes, in almost 70% of cases but only if the police intervention was good 4 deaths die to domestic violence in 2013, red flags – warning signs were ignored
  29. 29. Legislation should  be implemented in the context of a comprehensive national action plan or strategy  provide for a budget to ensure its implementation  provide for the adoption of rules and regulations, and the creation of specialized institutions, including police, prosecutors and courts  provide for the creation of a specific institutional mechanism (eg multi-sectoral Task Force) and the collection of statistical data, including through involvement of the national statistical office
  30. 30. We believe that a world without domestic abuse is not just a dream, it is a possibility. Never doubt it – changing attitudes changes lives.

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