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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

In this section:
What can I do to help a victim of domestic violence?
What can I do as a victim of domestic violence to help myself?
What can I do if I have been raped?
What can I do if I am a victim of sexual harassment?

What can I do to help a victim of domestic violence?

  • As a friend, let her know she is not alone. Battered women feel they don't have anyone to talk to. Speak openly with her about your suspicions and encourage her to talk.
  • Be a telephone buddy. Women are often isolated and are not allowed to go out.
  • Read and collect brochures and information to pass on to her. Talk to others. The more you know about this problem the more you can offer to someone in need.
  • Talk with her about options and help her plan for crisis.
  • Show belief in her ability to cope with change.
  • Support her no matter what she decides to do.
  • Provide a place for her and the children to stay for an afternoon or evening during tense times.
  • Provide transportation to shelter and safe homes.
  • Baby sit while she goes to lawyers or court, looks for housing, employment, etc.
  • Go to court and take notes and provide support.
  • Help her find housing.
  • Help her on moving day, either from her house, or from a shelter to a new home.
  • Call the police if you hear a neighbor being battered.

What can I do as a victim of domestic violence to help myself?

  • Make an EMERGENCY PLAN
  • Make a plan of what to and where to go if you are in danger. Tell your children of your plan if they are old enough to understand.
  • Take your children with you if you can. If you must leave them temporarily, make sure they can join you as soon as possible. See a lawyer as soon as possible about custody.
  • Whatever your vehicle, make sure it has petrol.
  • Keep an extra set of keys and emergency numbers in a secret hiding place.
  • Always keep some money hidden to help you get away.
  • Take identification, important papers and necessary medication for you and your children.
  • Keep a list of important phone numbers in the hiding place with your money.
  • Work out a code word that can be used on the phone with someone you trust if you are in danger.

What can I do if I have been raped?

If you are raped:

  • Do not wash. Although your first instinct may be to clean yourself, do not wash. Go to the hospital immediately for a medical examination. There may be seminal and body fluids, mud, debris, fibers, hairs that provide important evidence.
  • Go to the Emergency Room at the government hospital. The doctor will examine you and your genital area, as well as your clothes. You will also be asked to first fill out a form to give approval of the examination, and that the information will be used for police investigation. You may request a female gynecologist if you are uncomfortable with a male doctor. Hospital staff will also notify the police. A female officer will take your report at the hospital.
  • If you go to the police first, a female police officer will accompany you take your report and accompany you to the hospital. After the first report, a detailed statement will be taken. You may be required to attend an identification parade to identify the alleged rapist.
  • Contact a Women's NGO. You may want counseling and support.

What can I do if I am a victim of sexual harassment?<

  • Tell the harasser that his behavior is unwelcome and that you want it to stop. Say it firmly so the harasser knows you mean business!
  • If the harasser continues, talk to someone in your organisation who could help you; i.e., personnel officer or sexual harassment counselor, employee/union representative.
  • Record the details of each event: date, time, location, what happened, what was said, how you felt, and the names of any witnesses or others victimized by this person.
  • You can write a letter to the offender, including description, date and time of unwelcome behavior, clear statement you want the behavior to stop, and warning of further action for noncompliance. Add your signature and date.
  • MAKE A COPY FOR YOUR PERSONAL RECORDS AND CONSIDER HAVING SOMEONE WITNESS THE TRANSFER OF THE LETTER.
  • Your manager or supervisor harassing you: speak to someone more senior, to your personnel officer and union representative. OR seek help from the: Labor Ministry, organizations that will provide counseling and assistance.

Employer's Responsibility
It is the employer's responsibility to ensure a harassment-free workplace. The Ministry of Human Affairs has prepared and issued a Code of Practice on the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace containing in-house guidelines. If you are a victim of violence against women in Malaysia or are worried about someone who is, go to WAO Services or contact WAO directly to find out how WAO can help you.

 
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Women's Aid Organisation
Pertubuhan Pertolongan Wanita
P.O. Box 493 Jalan Sultan
46760 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Malaysia.
Tel. +60 3 756 3488
Fax. +60 3 756 3237
Email: wao@po.jaring.my

WAO is a registered society with tax exemption status under Registrar of Societies. WAO is a member of the Joint Action Group against Violence Against Women and an affiliate member of the National Council of Women's Organisations and the Malaysian Aids Council.

Legal disclaimer
 copyright 2000. WAO.