Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Gang-rape in Kelantan a wake up call to address violence against women and children

Media Statement by Yeo Bee Yin, DAP State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama on Tuesday 2 Jun 2014.

Recent gang-rape incident in Kelantan is a wake-up call for us to tackle increasing violence against children and women in Malaysia.

We are deeply saddened by the news of a 15 year-old teenage girl who was gang-raped by 38 men in Ketereh, Kelantan on 20 May 2014. Such a tragic case sends shiver down the spines of many Malaysian women, who may also be subjected to similar violence.  

We urge the authorities to go all out to bring the inhumane perpetrators of this case to justice according to the laws.

This event of sexual violence against a minor also reminds us of the worrying trend of increasing violence against children and women in Malaysia.

According to the Department of Social Welfare, the cases of child abuse have increased from 2,789 in 2009 to 3,428 in 2011 to 3831 in 2012.
As for rape cases, Women Aid Organization statistics has shown that although rape cases has dropped slightly in 2012 from its peak in 2009, it has doubled in just a decade, from 1479 in 2003 to 2998 in 2012. 
Now, an average of 8 girls are raped every day in Malaysia. This is not just a number. This number represents precious daughters and wives or wives-to-be, who may face a lifelong battle against the trauma of being raped. These women are not the only victims, their families will also be affected by such tragedy.
We hope that the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Dato' Rohani Abdul Karim, would step forward with a strategic plan to overcome such a worrying trend in child abuse and rape in terms of prevention, intervention, enforcement and rehabilitation. 
We are also ready to work with relevant NGOs and the government to contribute our part in saving our children and women from devastating physical and emotional violence and sexual abuse.
NOTE: In the light of recent events, I have decided that our office will start an initiative to contribute in our own capacity towards reducing violence against women and children. We'll have to take these issues into our hands to give direct impact to the community while not losing sight of policy and institutional reforms that we need to pursue to provide better protection for our children and women.