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Domestic Violence

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

It is an act of violence committed by a husband or wife against the other spouse or any member of a family against another member of the same family.

It can take the form of physical abuse such as punching and beating or berbal abuse such a taunting and threatening words.

The Domestic Violence Act came into effect in Malaysia on 1st. June 1996.

LEGAL DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

The Domestic Violence Act (DVA) defines domestic violence as the commission of any of the following Acts:-

* wilfully or knowling placing or attempting to place the victim in fear of physical injury;

* causing physical injury to the victim such as act which is known or ought to have been known would result in physical injury.

* compelling the victim by force or threat to engage in any conduct or act, sexual or otherwise from which the victim has a right to abstain.

Domestic Violence is not restricted only to physical violence but can include harassment or phychological harm like, continuous harassment, taunting a victim by verbal abuse of foul language.

WHAT STEPS MUST THE ABUSED VICTIM TAKE?

* seek the assistance of an NGO involed in women's issues to make a complaint to the nearest welfare office;

* go directly to the nearest welfare office;

* lodge a report at the nearest police station.

PUNISHMENT:

1st. Offence: the accused is liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,00 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.

If viloence is used, the accused is liable to a fine not exceeding RM4,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.

2nd. offence and subsequent contravention, the accused shall be imprisoned for a term to less than 72 hours and not more than 2 years and shall also be liable to a fine not exceeding RM5,000.