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Mosques To Provide Shelter, Food & Support For Victims of Domestic Abuse In KL

The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) said the services are open to both men and women, including non-Muslims.

Cover image via Hj Mohd Ajib Ismail/Malaysiakini & New Straits Times/Harian Metro

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Selected mosques in the capital will soon serve as crisis transit centres for victims of domestic abuse

The initiative is spearheaded by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI), and is administered under the purview of the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development.

As part of JAWI's five-year plan to make mosques more relevant in the communities they serve, the centres will be a safe refuge for men and women from all walks of life, including both Muslims and non-Muslims.

To kickstart the programme, two mosques will offer this facility immediately, namely the Federal Territory Mosque in Segambut and Al-Ghufran Mosque in Taman Pinggir Tun Dr Ismail, while a further 12 mosques will be added soon.

Victims of physical or mental abuse by their partners will be given lodging, clothing, and food for a minimum of three days, according to a Bernama report.

Al-Ghufran Mosque as seen from the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP).

Image via Google Maps

Victims who seek help will be provided protection on condition, as well as spiritual guidance and counselling services

"The mosque concerned will provide protection to the victim on condition that a police report related to the domestic violence case has been lodged," specified JAWI director Datuk Mohd Ajib Ismail to Bernama.

"If needed, an Emergency Protection Order has (sic) been issued by the Department of Social Welfare (JKM)."

He elaborated that mosque officials will provide spiritual guidance for victims throughout their stay, as well as counselling services administered by JKM.

It was not clarified if these supplementary services will be made mandatory for all, especially in the case of non-Muslims granted temporary asylum.

Image via Harian Metro

A ministry spokesperson said this initiative was announced in response to a worrying uptrend in domestic abuse complainants

Department of Women's Development director-general Dr Zurina Abdul Hamid said that domestic abuse cases have risen sharply during the Movement Control Order (MCO) periods.

In 2020, 5,260 cases were reported, as compared to just 3,263 in 2019. The first six months of 2021 alone, however, clocked in a staggering 3,970 incidences of reported domestic abuse.

"Between January and June 2020, (the ministry's helpline) Talian Kasih received 1,436 calls, and during the same period this year, 1,621 calls were received," Bernama quoted Zurina as saying.

These numbers are concurred by multiple women's rights groups, one such being Women's Aid Organisation, who also rung the alarm in an earlier Malaysiakini op-ed.

"Through this project, we hope more victims of domestic violence will pluck up the courage to leave the place that is endangering their life and causing them hurt," concluded Zurina.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

If you or anyone you know may be at risk of domestic violence, please call these Malaysian hotlines:

1. WOMEN'S AID ORGANISATION (WAO)
24-hour
Contact: +603-30008858
SMS/WhatsApp: +6018-9888058
Website | Facebook | Twitter

2. ALL WOMEN'S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM)
Weekdays (9.30am - 4.30pm)
Contact: +603-78770224
WhatsApp: +6016-2284221 | +6016-2374221
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

3. WOMEN'S CENTRE FOR CHANGE PENANG (WCC PENANG)
Weekdays (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +604-2280342 | +604-3988340
WhatsApp: +6011-31084001 | +6016-4390698
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook | Twitter

4. TALIAN KASIH
24-hour
Contact: 15999
WhatsApp: +6019-2615999
Email: [email protected]
Website | Facebook

5. TELENISA LEGAL AID CLINIC
Weekdays (8am - 10pm)
Contact: +6012-8123424
WhatsApp: +6012-8123424
Email: [email protected]
Facebook | Twitter

6. BUDDY BEAR CHILDLINE
Daily (12pm - 12am)
Contact: 1800-18-2327

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