KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – The lack of knowledge and awareness of their legal rights as well as access to help were among the causes of women in the country becoming victims of violence said Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
She said as a result of ignorance, many women chose to suffer cruelty and merely left their ordeal to fate.
“Police statistics show an average of 3,000 cases of violence against women were recorded each year.
“This clearly shows that the matter is serious and should be given due attention by all parties,” she said when launching the Legal Aid and Women’s Advisory Centre (Lawa) yesterday.
Also present were MCA Wanita chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie and MCA National Women Honourary Advisor Tan Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen.
Lawa, a brainchild of Rosmah herself, was set up under the auspices by MCA as the first one-stop centre by a political party in Malaysia, providing services such as counselling and legal services for women regardless of their races.
Commenting in the establishment of Lawa, Rosmah commended the holistic approach by Wanita MCA in setting up the one-stop cente and urged the people, especially women to benefit from the services available.
She also advised women with marital problems to seek assistance quickly before the situation worsens.
Earlier Heng in her speech said Lawa, operational since last October provided syariah and civil legal services as well as guidance and counseling with the cooperation of police, the Legal Aid Department in the Prime Minister’s Department, Bar Council, hospital, Welfare Department as well as the Malaysia Counselling Association.
She said 10 qualified women lawyers had been appointed and are supported by 410 coordinators and 50 volunteer students from local institutions of higher learning to manage the centre.
To ensure the service covers all people, Heng also announced the setting up of 205 Lawa branches nationwide with 13 of them at state level and 192 at divisional level.