Amended Domestic Violence Act

Amended Domestic Violence Act to cover male victims and emotional abuse cases as well

KUALA LUMPUR: The amendments to the Domestic Violence Act, which had their first reading in Parliament on Monday, will expand their scope to protect men as well as women, said Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister told a press conference that the Act would effectively protect anyone in a household who is subject to abuse.

“Take 2015, for example. There were 5,100 domestic violence cases (and) of that number, 26% of the victims were male.

“So we want to make it clear that anyone abused in a household, be it a man or a woman, will be protected,” she said.

Rohani had earlier told the Dewan Rakyat that the ministry would be proposing several amendments to the current Domestic Violence Act, which was last amended in 1994.

“Following the amendments, the definition (of abuse) would include emotional abuse, meaning that if the victim falls into depression from being emotionally harassed, they would also be protected under the Act.

“This would also apply to victims who are living in constant fear not only for their own safety, but the safety of their property and a third person, like a child,” she said.

Rohani said that in acknowledging the changing times, the amended Act would also protect victims who are being threatened with videos or text messaging.

She pointed out that from 2014 to last year alone, there were 15,617 cases of domestic violence and stressed that immediate action was needed.