Domestic Violence

Keganasan Rumah Tangga
(Bahagian I, Bahagian II)

Domestic violence is abuse committed against a person by someone in the family. Domestic violence takes different forms, which includes:

  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Choking
  • Hitting a person’s head against the wall
  • Forced sex, or sexual acts
  • Threatening to hurt a person
  • Making a person feel small, stupid, or worthless and
  • Damaging property to upset the victim.

People who commit domestic violence are trying to control the person being abused. 

With the passing of the Domestic Violence Act in 1994, domestic violence is no longer a private matter but a societal concern. It is a crime under the Penal Code.

Women’s organisations lobbied for nearly ten years before the Domestic Violence Act was passed in 1994.

Today, battered women can seek help from government agencies like the police, welfare department, hospital, and women’s NGOs to take action against their abusers.

Types of Domestic Violence 

Violence against women can be classified into several types:

Physical Abuse
  • Pushing or shoving a woman
  • Holding or keeping her from leaving
  • Slapping or biting her
  • Kicking, choking, hitting or punching her
Sexual Abuse
  • Forcing a woman to have unwanted sex with others or forcing her to watch others having sex
  • Forcing sex after a beating
  • Forcing sex when she is sick or when it endangers her health
  • Forcing the purpose of hurting her with objects or weapons
  • Threatening or hurting her with a weapon
Emotional Abuse
  • Continually criticizing her, calling her names, shouting at her
  • Humiliating her in public or privately
  • Refusing to allow her to socialize with anyone
  • Keeping her from working, controlling her money, making all decisions
  • Manipulating her with lies and contradictions
  • Threatening to kidnap the child(ren) if she leaves
  • Harassing her about extramarital affairs the abuser imagines she is having

Who Does It Affect

The Victim
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • Mental breakdown
  • Shame, guilt and fear
  • Isolation
  • Depression or suicidal thoughts
The Children
  • Fear, insecurity, and dependency
  • Frustration and anxiety
  • Problems in school (truancy, poor grades, etc.)
  • Deep anger (that may lead to violent behavior)
The Abuser
  • Family breakdown
  • Punishment by law
  • Separation/divorce

Cycle of Violence

The cycle of violence describes the pattern that often occurs when a woman is abused by her husband or partner. While each woman’s experience may be different, the cycle points out the phases that tend to occur in an abusive relationship.
An abusive relationship often follows a three-phase cycle:

CV 1

The cycle of violence can happen hundreds of times in an abusive relationship. The total cycle can take anywhere from a few hours to a year or more to complete. It is important to remember that not all domestic violence relationships fit the cycle. Often, as time goes on, the ‘honeymoon’ stage disappears.

 CV 2

In the end there is only the violent phase.

CV 3

Why Does It Happen

Power and Control

Abusers are usually self-centered. They think only of their own needs and neglect other people’s feelings. They try to use varying tactics to gain power to control their family members through violence. They make all the major decisions and treat their spouse or partner badly.

Family Factors

Some abusers may have been raised in a “violent home” environment. They may have experienced family violence in their childhood and learnt violent behaviour from their family.

Social Factors

Abusers tend to have traditional ideas about the roles of women and men, thinking women should be subordinate to men. They cannot accept that women have the right to make decisions about her own life. e.g. going out to work.

Psychological Factors

Abusers may suffer from psychological problems and have primary personality disorders. Disorder can be associated with severe mood swings, lying, sexual problems, substance abuse, or suicidal behaviour.

Click here for posters & pamphlets, books related to domestic violence.
Click here for WCC’s media related to domestic violence.