SOPs needed to act on abuse cases – JJ Fernandez

03 Oct 2023 08:41pm
From the left, Wong Yan Ke, Muhammad Iqbal Fatkhi, Nelissa Nizam, Sarimah Ibrahim, JJ Fernandez, Hugh Koh in a press conference after the White Ribbon Campaign and Run launch on Tuesday.
From the left, Wong Yan Ke, Muhammad Iqbal Fatkhi, Nelissa Nizam, Sarimah Ibrahim, JJ Fernandez, Hugh Koh in a press conference after the White Ribbon Campaign and Run launch on Tuesday.

KUALA LUMPUR – With the rising number of abuse in the country, Malaysian entertainment maestro JJ Fernandez shares how he managed to diffuse heaty situations and how standard operating procedures (SOPs) are needed for when abuse cases are spotted.

“I’ve stepped in before where a man was abusing a woman and if you stepped in to defend the girl, it will cause an altercation.

“What I did instead was to ask the man whether he was okay to get him away from the situation and lead the person away from the girl, we should learn how to diffuse situations.

“We have SOPs for what to do if a person faints like calling a number and so on, but for abuse, there is nothing set,” he said.

JJ stated that men should be on the healthier side and ensure positive relationships between friends so that they do not end up being ignorant

“Us bringing up the facts (sharing of real life abuse cases), it is not an attack on men, they should not be sensitive to facts and should be aware of such to know the healthier sides of each other.

“If you have some friends who are ‘suspect’ (suspicious), men will usually simply brush it aside, especially when it comes to some jokes that spoke badly of others you should question them and say something along the lines of ‘I don’t get that joke what did you mean’ they would scramble to find an answer,” he said after the launch of the White Ribbon Campaign and Run.

The campaign was launched by the All Women's Action Society (Awam) with its slogan ‘Break the Silence, End the Violence’ aimed at combatting gender-based violence (GBV) in Malaysia by promoting a new vision of healthy masculinity and encouraging men to speak out against GBV, particularly domestic abuse.

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Several notable guests attended the launch event, including Selangor Public Health and Environment exco Jamaliah Jamaluddin, Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Assistant Representative Tengku Aira Tengku Razif United, High Commission of Canada in Malaysia Advocacy Officer Dayalan S. Rajoo, police representatives, and the casts of Astro Shaw's Riot! Nelissa Nizam and Sarimah Ibrahim.

During the event, Sarimah highlighted that mental health was the main cause linked to violence as the more mental health deteriorates, the more cases would rise.

“If there is a huge discrepancy in power there will always be issues present, but I do not want to blame anyone, what I want to say instead if men needed help and they were at a point where they could not control their anger, they should seek help.

“If men takes care of themselves, it would lead to help for women,” she said.

Sarimah added that individuals must set aside the culture of trying to save face for others and should instead rethink it as not shaming anyone, but as a means to empower each other.

“Our culture of always saving face and not wanting to shame others, but this is not to cause any shame, but it is to empower each other as not only women go through such problems.

“If a woman goes through such abuse or harassment it could lead to the future generations suffering through the same fate becoming a transgenerational problem, so we must stop it together,” she said.

Sarimah had earlier spoken about a traumatic sexual harassment experience she encountered to empower women to speak up instead of going through the experience by simply keeping it pent up.

“When I spoke about my sexual harassment workplace issue that happened to me years ago, I did so to empower others and to ensure they did not keep that issue pent up.

“It leaves more risk to mental health issues, for us to become a more developed nation we must remain healthy not just physically and the best methods to ensure we are mentally well to ensure traumas are not kept to oneself, reduce isolation and like the event that aims to empower everyone.

“This is to ensure we all can help each other not to become anti-men because we need men to help change the situation for other men, we need to ask for help from each other,” she said.

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