KUALA LUMPUR: Amendments to the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (DVA) to be tabled before the current Parliament meeting ends next month will not be confined to protecting female victims, but will also include protection for male victims.
The Act is current being amended to give it more bite, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.
However, there are activists who are concerned that the proposed amendments may only focus on female victims, she added.
“I can assure you the law will include protection for all genders and not only be confined to women,” she told reporters after launching the 1st Asia Pacific Ministerial Forum on the Management of Social Transformation at a hotel here on Wednesday.
”The amended law may be tabled in Parliament next week together with the Child Sexual Crime Act, and I will hold a press conference on the details then,” Rohani said.
According to the Royal Malaysian Police and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, the number of incidents involving male victims of domestic violence has been rising.
There were 650 cases of domestic violence against men reported in 2010, 815 cases in 2011, and 930 cases in 2012.
It is believed that the actual figure is higher as many domestic violence cases against men go unreported due to a culture of shame, fear of facing social stigma or emasculation, or even major legal obstacles.
Three years ago, Rohani said that 958 out of 3,673 reported cases of domestic violence in Malaysia involved male victims.
She then said that some victims, particularly men, go to the hospital to seek treatment for injuries from an “accident,” and that it was still difficult for men to publicly talk about being beaten by their wives for fear of getting laughed at or teased.