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Critical to reach out to abused victims to speak of their ordeal

KUALA LUMPUR: Abused victims need all the help they can get to speak up of their ordeal, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said.
Many abused victims were afraid to come forward and relatives or witnesses such as their neighbours can play a part to get them to speak up, Rohani said after an interview session with the Wanita Hari Ini programme in TV3 earlier.
During the interview, Rohani also elaborated to viewers on the newly passed Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017.
"If they (witnesses) know of any abuse cases going on around them, they should lodge a report to us because in some cases, victims are afraid to come forward.
"Victims of domestic violence can now seek refuge with Emergency Protection Order (EPO) under the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017.
"The EPO is an order that is requested by the victim at any time (with consideration by an authorised welfare department officer)," she told reporters at Sri Pentas here.
Rohani said EPO was introduced to provide immediate protection to victims and to give authority to welfare officers to protect victims.
"EPO will be granted if the victims is in fear of physical injury or taking into consideration the needs of victim to be protected after there is any physical injury," she said.
She also said, more than 1,300 officers have been given training to familiarise themselves with EPO.
"We want to ensure that the enforcement will be smooth. Our officers are trained on EPO standard operations procedures. We will also go to the ground from time to time to ensure everything is in place without hiccups. A roadshow to disseminate information will also be in place," she added.
EPO applications may be explicitly applied by the victim, the victim's lawyers or guardians and relatives and persons responsible for caring for children or disabled people as well as EPO authorised welfare officers.
EPO can be requested by at the Social Welfare Office or by calling Talian kasih 15999. The EPO validity period is seven days from the date EPO is issued.
However, the EPO will come into force when the EPO order has been served to the perpetrator in 24 hours .

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