Ministry has 1,300 officers ready to help battered women
They are authorised to issue Emergency Protection Orders
SOME 1,300 officers are ready to be mobilised to protect domestic abuse victims. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the Emergency Protection Order (EPO) under the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017 required swift action from the officers.
“More than 1,300 officers have been given training to familiarise themselves with the EPO.
“We want to ensure the enforcement is smooth. Our officers have attended training on EPO standard operating procedures.
“We will also go to the ground from time to time to ensure everything is in place.
“A roadshow to disseminate information will also be held,” she said after attending a session with Wanita Hari Ini at TV3 here yesterday.
During the interview, Rohani told viewers about the newly passed Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017.
“With the EPO, victims of domestic violence can now seek refuge under the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017.
“The EPO is an order that can be sought by the victim any time (with consideration by an authorised Welfare Department officer),” she said.
Rohani said EPO was introduced to provide immediate protection to victims and to authorise welfare officers to issue the order to victims.
“An EPO will be granted if the victim fears being physically injured.
“It also takes into consideration the needs of the victim to be protected after there is physical injury,” she said.
EPO applications may be explicitly applied for by the victim, the victim’s lawyer or guardian, as well as relatives and persons responsible for caring of children or disabled people, plus EPO authorised welfare officers.
Victims can apply for EPO at the social welfare office or by calling Talian Kasih 15999.
The EPO validity period is seven days from the date of issue.
However, the EPO will come into force when it has been served on the perpetrator within 24 hours.
Rohani also reminded the people that the act of abuse should not be viewed as a norm.
“Many abuse victims are afraid to come forward and speak up about their ordeal, and relatives and witnesses such as neighbours should play their part in helping them.
“If they (witnesses) know of any abuse cases, they should lodge a report with us.”
Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim