Identify gaps in the OSCC to fight against gender-based violence - AWAM

06 Jan 2023 06:42pm
Photo for illustration purposes only - FILE PIC
Photo for illustration purposes only - FILE PIC

SHAH ALAM - The Health Ministry should perform a thorough review to identify any gaps in the current One Stop Crisis Center (OSCC) model to fight against gender-based violence in Malaysia.

They should also the take appropriate actions to fill those gaps.

All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) Information & Communication Officer Jernell Tan Chia Ee said the current gaps were related to implementation, among which include inadequate gender sensitivity of staff due to limited training available, inadequate inter-agency collaborations due to the lack of clear common procedures for survivors, and a limited budget for all available OSCCs across all public hospitals.

“Our current One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) model is actually a commendable one, as it also includes having police booths in public hospitals.

“This is just so that survivors of gender-based violence will still be able to seek redress with the police, should a public hospital be more accessible to them than the police station,” she told Sinar Daily.

Jernell said pro-active collaborations with the Women, Family and Community Development, Health and Home Ministries were important to ensure that integrated gender-based violence services are provided to survivors of gender-based violence by the police.

Meanwhile, Jernell believed that to end gender-based violence, the police must work closely with nonprofit organizations (NGOs).

By having collaborations with NGOs, it will ensure that victims of gender-based violence can receive comprehensive support services that can meet their requirements.

“On this note, NGOs can have specific liaisons within police stations in the vicinity, to whom they can refer cases of gender-based violence to and with whom they can also carry out enquiries pertaining to aspects of the case.

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“As the police liaison in this case will most likely be gender-sensitive and possess adequate knowledge and experience in handling gender-based violence cases, the likelihood of survivors seeking redress in a manner that is swift and responsive will be higher,” she added.

Collaborations with NGOs will be a proactive move because it involves relevant women's rights organisations like AWAM working with the police department on research and intervention projects to develop the department's long-term capacity for gender-responsive policing.

“An example would be to conduct a survey to first thoroughly understand the prevalence of gender-sensitive attitudes among police officers, and this is followed by gender-sensitivity training of which content is customised to address gaps based on survey findings,” she explained.

Jernell was responding to an incident in which a 16-year-old girl had filed a police report on Saturday in Alor Setar, Kedah, claiming she had been raped by an inspector at the Yan police headquarters.

It was reported that the victim had gone to the police headquarters on Dec 28 to lodge a report alleging that she was raped by her stepfather.

Mohd Maliki Azmi, 34, pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was read out before Judge Roslan Hamid.

He was charged under Section 376(2)(f) of the Penal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to 20 years and whipping, upon conviction.

Earlier, the accused also claimed trial to three charges relating to sexual assault against the teenage girl at the same place, time and date.