What Can I Do

Violence of any kind is wrong. The Domestic Violence Act (DVA) recognizes the fact that domestic violence is not a private matter. It is a societal concern – domestic violence is a crime under the penal code. If you are being abused, here are some actions you can take:

Get Medical Help

  1. If you are injured, go to the Emergency & Trauma Department of the nearest government hospital for medical treatment. You will be treated in a private room called the One Stop Crisis Centre.
  2. If there is a police counter, tell the Police Officer that you are a victim of domestic violence seeking medical treatment; they will give you a ‘Form 59’, which is for the doctor to record the injuries.
  3. It is not necessary for you to obtain a medical report. If you wish to do so, you have to pay RM.40 and it could take up to two months before it is sent to you.
  4. If the violence happened at night and you have nowhere to go after medical treatment, you can request the Staff Nurse to let you stay overnight in the casualty ward.

Get Help from NGOs

  1. You can contact any women’s organisation like WCC for help. We provide immediate counselling during this crisis period.
  2. WCC’s social worker can accompany you to the police station, hospital, and welfare department if necessary.
  3. WCC can provide temporary shelter, a peaceful place where you and your children can stay away from the violent environment you have just left.
  4. If you feel you and your children’s lives are getting increasingly violent, plan NOW for an emergency. Always have a safety plan.

Make a Police Report

  1. You can go to any police station and lodge a police report.
  2. In the police report, write down the details of how your spouse/partner abused you in any language. Write as clearly as possible and include dates and times of abuse.

When: When did it occur?
Where: Where did it happen – location
What: What is the incident?
Who: Who was involved?
How: How did it happen?
Effect: What’s the effect on you after the incident (bruises, injury etc.)? Police Report 2

  1. The front desk Police Officer will then refer you to an Investigation Officer (IO) in the Sexual Assault Unit of the district police station where you lodged your complaint.
  2. The IO will take down the details of the incident; this is called a police statement which is used for investigating the case.
  3. You should pay for and keep a copy of the report documenting the incident for your own record: the report costs RM4.00.
  4. Should you fear for the safety of yourself and your children or face further violence from your spouse, you can inform the IO that you would like to obtain an Interim Protection Order (IPO). If the IO agrees that you should have an IPO, (s)he will give you a referral letter. Take this letter to the Welfare Department (Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat) who will then assist to apply the IPO at the Magistrate Court.
  5. You can also ask for the IO to apply IPO for other members of your family, especially your children, should you fear also for their safety.
  6. The IO will summon the abuser (the suspect) for investigation and take his statement.
  7. If you want to remove your belongings and you are too frightened to go home, you can request that the IO to send police officers to accompany you to pick up your belongings.

Apply for an Interim Protection Order (IPO)

Interim Protection Order

One important feature in the Domestic Violence Act 1994 is the Interim Protection Order (IPO), which offers temporary legal protection for the victims, her children and her relatives. An IPO is a court order to stop the abusive husband, parent or relative from committing further acts of violence against the victims. The IPO is temporary and valid as long as investigations are carried out by the police. The IPO is often a strong deterrent to further violence.

Protection Order

An interim protection order ceases to have effect upon the completion of the investigation. If, following the completion of the police investigation, the accused is charged with an offence committed under circumstances that fall within the definition of domestic violence, the court may issue a Protection Order. The scope of the PO is greater than an IPO due to additional provisions which may be attached to the order. Section 5 of the Domestic Violence Act enables the court to:

  • To stop further domestic violence against the victim
  • To restrain the offender or alleged offender from inciting others to commit domestic violence against the victim
Welfare Department
  1. If the Investigation Officer assesses that you need an IPO, you should go to the Welfare Department in your district with the referral letter from the police.
  2. The Welfare Officer will help you write a report and file it in the Magistrate’s Court.
  3. The Welfare Officer will fix an appointment for you to go to the Magistrate’s Court to apply for an IPO.
  4. The Welfare Officer will call your husband/spouse to organize counselling if necessary.
Magistrate’s Court
  1. The magistrate will interview you about your case.
  2. The magistrate will issue five copies of the IPO; each department involved will receive one and the police will serve a copy on the abuser.
  3. When you get a copy of the IPO, photocopy it and keep both copies of the IPO in a safe place.
  4. According to police procedures, the IPO must be served on the abuser within 7 days.
  5. Violation of IPO/Breaching the Court order: If the abuser continues to harass you, you can lodge another police report and inform your IO to take further action.
  6. Remember to check whether your IPO is still valid. If not, you have to go through the whole process again to get a new Protection Order (PO).

Leaving a Violent Spouse

You and your children’s safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe. It is important to get help with your safety plan. If you are in an abusive relationship, think about…

  1. Having important phone numbers nearby for you and your children. Numbers to have are the police, relatives, friends, and the local women’s organisation.
  2. Friends or neighbors you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises.
  3. How to get out of your home safely. Practise ways to get out.
  4. Think about ways that you could get any harmful object or weapon out of the house.
  5. Even if you do not plan to leave, think of where you could go. Think of how you might leave. Put together a bag of things you use every day (see the checklist below). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  6. Going over your safety plan often.

If you consider leaving your abuser, think about…

  1. Two places you could go if you leave your home.
  2. People who might help you if you left. Think about people who will keep a bag for you. Think about people who might lend you money.
  3. Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
  4. How you could take your children with you safely. There are times when taking your children with you may put all of your lives in danger. You need to protect yourself to be able to protect your children.
  5. Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.

If you and your children feel threatened and you need to leave the violent home, remember these tips: Keep a bag of essentials in a safe and hidden place where the abuser cannot find it, like:

  • Identity card, birth certificate, driving license, marriage certificate, school certificates
  • Cash, jewellery, bank book, ATM card, credit card, passport, insurance policy
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Hand phone, telephone and address book
  • Keys – house, car, office, safe deposit box

Plan a safety route. Have a plan ready in case you have to leave home suddenly. In case the house door is locked, make sure you have the house keys to leave the house. Keep important contact numbers with you at all times. These should include close relatives, friends, police and hospital. Consider when it is the best time to leave. Plan to take your children with you should you decide to leave especially if they are young. If you leave without them, you may not have easy access to them subsequently. Sometimes your spouse may coerce you to return by using the children as an excuse. If you have left your abuser, think about…

  1. Filing a police report against his abuse.
  2. Getting an Interim Protection Order (IPO) from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time.
  3. Changing the locks in your home.
  4. Telling colleagues, friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you.
  5. Telling people who take care of your children the names of people who are allowed to pick them up. If you have an IPO protecting your children, give their teachers and babysitters a copy of it.
  6. Telling someone at work about what has happened. Ask that person to screen your calls. Think about and practise a safety plan for your workplace. Use a variety of routes to go home, if possible.
  7. Not using the same stores or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.