Welfare officers will be empowered to protect domestic violence victims, minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, July 18 — Some 1,600 Welfare Department (JKM) officers will be empowered to issue an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) to provide immediate protection to victims of domestic violence, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

She said it was among five reforms included in the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2017 which was expected to be tabled for the second and third readings in Dewan Rakyat at the next Parliamentary sitting.

Through the amendment, she said, authorised officers are empowered by JKM director-general to issue ex-parte temporary order effective for one week to protect domestic violence victims during a state of emergency.

“Currently all JKM officers are in the midst or have undergone the relevant course. The ministry wants all JKM officers in the field to be well-trained,” she told reporters at a briefing session on the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2017 to media practitioners here today. Read more

WAO: Better protection for domestic violence survivors under new Bill

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The Domestic Violence Act (Amendments) 2012 [DVA] is expected to enable women to get temporary protection from their abusers without having to lodge a police report, the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said.

Domestic violence survivors can obtain the Emergency Protection Order (EPO) from a social welfare officer without having to go to court either, under the Bill that is set to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat for first reading today.

“The EPO acts as an immediate temporary protection, which could last for 7 days,” WAO advocacy manager Yu Ren Chung told Malay Mail Online.

Although the women’s rights group, which had worked with the DVA along with other NGOs for the past three years, has not seen the final version of the Bill, it expects the EPO and also a strengthened Interim Protection Order (IPO) to both feature.

The Bill will be introduced by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, its Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim stated yesterday. Read more