“It’s an accepted fact that spousal abuse is on the rise today,” Dr Sharifah Halimah told reporters after speaking at a forum on domestic violence and child abuse in Jelapang recently. The one-day forum was organised by the Perak State Health Department and assisted by government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
The President of the Perak Women for Women Society alluded to statistics to substantiate her claim. “Over 70 per cent of working women are being abused, mentally and physically, daily,” she lamented. The reality on the ground is most disturbing as such abuses are not confined to women alone but to children, as well. The negativity it will cause is far-reaching as they will have a profound effect on the mental and physical well being of the victims.
“Women must be resolute in countering these abuses. They should not adopt a passive attitude fearing the loss of dignity and face should they act irrationally,” she reasoned. “Don’t treat women as objects to vent men’s frustration, as punching bags, so to speak. Women’s reluctance to react is not a sign of their weakness. To them, maintaining the family’s integrity is paramount.”
The open forum was targeted at the men folks but, unfortunately, only the oldies were present. Nonetheless, the objective of the discussion was achieved. Beside talks by speakers, well versed on the issue of domestic violence, the audience got to see pictures of abused women and children and posters abhorring violence of all kinds on display in the council-owned Jelapang hall.
Ayob Mohd Hassan, 65, from Slim River commended the organisers for a splendid show. “The forum is very informative,” he said. He, however, blamed technology and modern lifestyles for all the ills that are affecting mankind. “We’ve to fall back to religion to overcome these woes.”
Norashikin Mokthar, 40, from Taman Jati, Ipoh was pleased with what she saw and heard. “It’s an excellent way to showcase the effects of domestic violence,” she said. She felt that the ones who needed such exposures are the newly-weds. “They should be made to attend this forum.”