Tragic murder of lecturer highlights domestic violence-alleged murder link

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Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) was shocked to hear the news of a lecturer strangled to death by her husband. We offer our deepest condolences to the victim’s family.

We would like to comment on two issues that arose from this case.

First, domestic violence and alleged murder. This is the worst outcome of domestic violence – alleged murder. Studies in other countries show that approximately 2 out of 5 female homicide victims were killed by their own intimate partners. We need to better understand the relation between domestic violence and murder in Malaysia.

And as a first step, we urge the police to analyse and release data on the number of alleged murders due to domestic violence where the victim was murdered by a current or former spouse or intimate partner. We call on Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun and Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin to look into this.

Another issue that arose is child protection and confidentiality.

Following the news reports the Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff visited the victim’s residence and took pictures with the victim’s child and posted it on her social media platforms.

The picture also received media coverage, which resulted in the name and photo of the child being exposed on the front page of the news.

According to the Child Act 2001, the privacy of children affected by a crime must be protected. The girl is affected by the crime of the alleged murder of her mother; her identity must not be disclosed. We should not expect this lack of judgement from the deputy minister of the ministry in charge of the Child Act.

READ MORE:  SIS urges ministry to protect women and children

We request the ministry, particularly the Social Welfare Department (JKM), as the child protectors, to provide support to the child to receive the utmost respect and dignified treatment.

We urge all parties to respect the rights and privacy of children, be more sensitive to the children’s needs and do everything to protect the children from the public eye

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