Based on Women’s Aid Organization in Malaysia, the data show 2276 people involve in domestic violence, 506 people have been raped, 104 people experience incest, 312 people face outrage of modesty (molestation) and 122 people encounter sexual harassment. All of these data are valid from January to May in 2018 (Women’s Aid Organization n.d.). These data proved that women cannot run from being subjected in this kind of violence act. Therefore, the government introduced acts in the Constitution to protect women’s right. For instance, Article 8(2) of the Constitution in Malaysia was replaced in order to contain prohibition of gender discrimination in 2001. There is also another act in Malaysia which is Domestic Violence Act (DVA) that was approved in 1994 and accomplish in 1996 (Fallahi et. al 2015). Furthermore, there are strategies performed on violence against women in Malaysia (Fallahi et. al 2015):
- The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is given some government budget from 0.5 million USD in 2001 to 8.6 million USD in 2005 for the responsibility to protect women’s right.
- Improving rules to protect the rights of violence victims such as an amendment to Penal Code where it explains more about rape and huge penalty to those who found guilty, an amendment to Employment Act that addresses sexual harassment in work place, an amendment to Domestic Violence Act (DVA) that explains more about domestic violence such as emotional, mental, psychological and physical abuse.
- Introducing One-Stop Crises Centers (OSCC) in all hospitals in order to help violence victims in 1996.
- Creating “Talian Nur 15-999”, 24 hours helpline service to support and help violence immediately every day.
- Providing a temporary house and safe house for women that have been abused and for the survivors of domestic violence. There are 28 safe houses that run by Welfare Department currently.
- Launching a hotline number 1-800-88-3040 by Welfare Department of Women’s Development specially for public who seen any kind of violence to cooperate with them in order to help the violence victims.
Reframing violence against women and trauma as a health issue definitely reinforce our understandings of health, illness and medicine because it helps us to understand the importance of mental health just like how we give so much understanding in physical health. Based on the reading in week one, “Recognizing Biological, Social, and Cultural Interconnections by Joralemon, he shares that epidemic offer particularly a vivid demonstration of the interconnections between biological, social, and cultural components in the human experience of disease (Joralemon 1999). Just like my research in Malaysia, violence can cause a mental illness to women such as depression. The analysis showed that most of the depression illness happen to married women which is somehow a cultural matter for some people. Some married women tend to be quiet and accept the abuse and violence that happen to them as a wife role in marriage. Joralemon mentions in the writing too that epidemics can be so devastating to human communities so that they provide ample opportunities for cultural interpretations as afflicted populations struggle to make sense of their suffering (Joralemon 1999). However, not only mentally, violence and abuse can show physical bruises and scars too. More dangerous if it can cause internal bleeding that can bring bad outcomes to one’s woman body. From my point of view, intergenerational trauma reinforces biochemical, and mechanical models of health. I remember there was I one time I watched international movies with my friends and I notice that there are domestic violence scenes where a husband kicked his wife, a boyfriend slapped his girlfriend. All these scenes showed a bad influence to young generation and make them to do the same thing when they growing up, thought the fact that they have to do that to their wives too. I know this one Malaysian’s quote, “melentur buluh biarlah dari rebungnya” which means if we want to teach the best for our kids, teach them since they are young since that is the best time for kids to learn and adapt.
I believe that in Malaysia, reframing the violence against women is so beneficial and brings good impacts to everyone. By reframing the violence, there will be a chance for us to solve mental illness problems and there are more implementations that can be done to help women around the world.
Fallahi, Bahari et. al. (2015). The National Policy of Malaysia towards Violence against Women. Public Policy and Administration Research.
Joralemon, & Donald. (1999). Chapter 3: Recognizing Biological, Social and Cultural Interconnections. Exploring Medical Anthropology. 30-43
Women’s Aid Organization. (n.d.). Statistic on Violence Against Women. Retrieved from http://www.wao.org.my/Statistics+on+Violence+Against+Women+2000-2016_99_6_1.htm