| Azlan Othman |
FINANCIAL constraints, the presence of a ‘third’ person in a couple’s life, uncontrolled jealousy and rage, use of alcohol and drugs, stress and even the presence of a large number of family members in a house could trigger domestic violence.
This was highlighted by Assistant Investigation Officer of the Women and Children Unit of the CID, Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), Sgt Familawati binti Hj Moksin, in a talk to a group of members of the Village Consultative Council of Mukim Berakas ‘A’ and ‘B’ as well as the Women’s Group of Jame’ ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque who attended an informative community programme conducted by the Information Department.
The community should change its mindset and help report domestic violence to the relevant authorities, she urged.
“One should get rid of the perception that such cases would only bring shame to the family if they are reported to the authorities. In some instances, the victim fails to make a report for fear of shame to the family and the community. Some women are not aware of their rights and they prefer to sit and wait. Prevention and intervention are crucial,” she added.
“One should not be afraid to lodge a report although he/she is your husband or wife. When one becomes the victim of domestic violence, he/she should contact the police or the Community Development Department or the hospital. The victim must also seek help from trusted family members like parents, siblings and should not keep quiet.
“If one becomes the victim, he/she should stay away from the perpetrator, and if one is a sexual abuse victim, he/she should not clean or wash themselves to allow the authorities to collect important details for investigation. If the victim is injured, he/she should go to the hospital or the nearest clinic,” she added.
Statistics from 2012 showed a total of 116 cases of domestic violence against wives, which is a decline of 16 cases compared to 2011.
There were only two cases reported of violence against former wives in 2012 and none reported in 2011.
There were three cases of violence against husbands in 2012, up by one case compared to 2011.
A total of seven cases of domestic violence were reported in 2012, down by five cases compared to 2011.
Thirty-three child abuse cases were reported in 2012 compared to 25 in 2011.
There were 12 cases involving maid abuse in 2012 compared to 11 in 2011.
Attendees yesterday also heard a talk on the Rights of Victim delivered by Legal Adviser, Karen Tan Chai Mei of the Attorney General’s Chambers. Also present were Hj Alif Daraina bin Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Badaruddin.
She touched on the relevant legislations, actions that must be taken by the victim and police cases and guidelines at the court.