Ensure justice for domestic violence victims — WAO


Source: The Malay Mail Online

JANUARY 20 — Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) welcomes the High Court’s decision to uphold justice for domestic violence and murder victim, Nurhidayah A Ghani. On January 20, 2017, the High Court declared her husband, Jamaluddin Ali, guilty of murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

For Nurhidayah’s family, this verdict brings closure to a wearying and drawn-out process of seeking justice. Jamaluddin had physically and psychologically abused Nurhidayah for over a decade, since 2003.

He had repeatedly banged her head into the wall, hit her with a helmet and a fishing rod, and strangled her. From 2009 to 2013, Nurhidayah and her family lodged more than 10 police reports against Jamaluddin.

However, the authorities failed to intervene to protect Nurhidayah from her violent abuser.

The authorities refused to arrest Jamaluddin despite the fact that he had violated the Interim Protection Order (IPO) and repeatedly harassed Nurhidayah and her family.

The surrounding community also failed to reach out, dismissing domestic violence as a personal family matter. According to Nurhidayah’s sister, the neighbors had heard Nurhidayah’s desperate cries for help, but they looked the other way.

Finally, on May 17, 2013, Jamaluddin broke into the car Nurhidayah was in and battered her to death. According to the doctor, her body was completely bruised with most of her internal organs destroyed.

We are saddened by the tragic end of Nurhidayah’s life because her death could have been prevented. If the authorities and the surrounding community had taken action, Nurhidayah may still be with us today.

We must realise that domestic violence is not a personal family matter but a devastating crime that can rip families apart and cost women their lives. The Domestic Violence Act criminalises physical, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse. Nurhidayah’s case illustrates domestic violence as the crime it really is.

If someone you know experiences abuse, reach out. Call the WAO Hotline at 03-79563488 or text TINA at 018-9888058. Let’s prevent Nurhidayah’s story from repeating.

* WAO is a domestic violence shelter, re-integration and case management service provider in Malaysia with the mission to promote and create respect, protection and fulfilment of equal rights for women.