If you’ve been abused or know someone who has been abused, it’s time to get help.
How Do I Help Myself Or Someone Who Is Abused?
Get Medical Help
- 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 (OSCC).
- 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 Form 59 on which the doctor will record the injuries.
- You don’t need to get back your medical report. If you want to do so, you have to pay RM40 and it could take up to 2 months before it is sent to you.
- 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
- Contact any women’s organisation like WCC for help. We provide immediate counselling during this crisis period.
- Our social worker can accompany you to the police station, hospital, and welfare department if necessary.
- You can get temporary shelter for yourself and your children from WCC.
- If you feel you and your children’s lives are in danger, plan now for an emergency. Always have a safety plan.
Get an Emergency Protection
- If you are in need of an emergency protection, you can either contact Talian Nur at 15999 or go directly to a Social Welfare Department (JKM) at your district, inform the officers that you would like to obtain an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). A police report is not required in the application of an EPO.
- An authorized JKM officer will interview you, fill up the relevant form for you, and will issue an EPO for you. An EPO will be valid for 7 days only and is not renewable. You can decide your next cause of action within the 7 days.
Make a Police Report
- Go to any police station and lodge a police report.
- In the police report, write down the details of how your spouse/partner abused you in the language you are most comfortable in. State the incident clearly – 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.)?
- 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.
- The IO will take down the details of the incident; this is called a police statement which is used for investigating the case.
- You should pay for and keep a copy of the report documenting the incident for your own record (the report costs RM4).
- If you fear for the safety of yourself and your children or face further violence from your spouse, 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.
- Ask for the IO to apply IPO for other members of your family, especially your children if you fear for their safety too.
- The IO will summon the abuser (the suspect) for investigation and record his statement.
- 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.
- You can obtain an Protection Order (PO) from once the abuser is charged in court.
Apply For A Protection Order
Emergency Protection Order (EPO)
The Emergency Protection Order (EPO) was introduced under the Domestic Violence (Amendment) Act 2017. Any victim who is having risk of being physically abused or have been physically abused can apply for an EPO with a Social Welfare Department (JKM) at your district. The EPO will be issued by an authorized Social Welfare Officer at any time (24 hours). The EPO valids for 7 days and is not renewable. Victim does not need to lodge a police report to apply for the EPO.
Interim Protection Order (IPO)
The Interim Protection Order (IPO) is an important feature in the Domestic Violence Act 1994. The IPO 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 victim. 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 (PO)
The IPO ceases to have effect when the investigation is completed. If, following the completion of the police investigation, the accused is charged with an offence that falls 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
Social Welfare Department
- An authorized Welfare Officer at the Social Welfare Department at your district can issue an EPO for you without having you to lodge a police report.
- If you choose to lodge a police report and if the Investigation Officer assesses that you need an IPO, you should go to the Social Welfare Department in your district with the referral letter from the police.
- The Welfare Officer will help you write a report and file it in the Magistrate’s Court.
- The Welfare Officer will fix an appointment for you to go to the Magistrate’s Court to apply for an IPO.
- The Welfare Officer will call your husband/spouse to organize counselling if necessary.
- The magistrate will interview you about your case.
- 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.
- When you get a copy of the IPO, photocopy it and keep both copies of the IPO in a safe place.
- According to police procedures, the IPO must be served on the abuser within 7 days.
- 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.
- 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. If you are in an abusive relationship, think about:
- Having important phone numbers for you and your children such as the police, relatives, friends, and the local women’s organisation.
- Friends or neighbours you could tell about the abuse. Ask them to call the police if they hear angry or violent noises.
- How to get out of your home safely. Practise ways to get out.
- Think about ways that you could get any harmful object or weapon out of the house.
- 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). Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
- Going over your safety plan often.
If you consider leaving your abuser, think about:
- Two places you could go if you leave your home.
- 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.
- Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
- 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.
- 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
- Handphone, 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:
- Getting an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) from the Social Welfare Department.
Filing a police report against his abuse.
- Getting an Interim Protection Order (IPO) from the court. Keep a copy with you all the time.
- Changing the locks in your home.
- Telling colleagues, friends and neighbors that your abuser no longer lives with you.
- 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.
- 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.
- Not visiting the same shops that you did when you were with your abuser.
Check out useful resources you can use.