Saturday, June 6

In search of shelter for women in state

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SIBU: Assistant Minister of Social Development and Urbanisation (Women Development) Datin Fatimah Abdullah said they are looking for a suitable building to be turned into a shelter for women in the state.

The shelter could be an old government building in the southern region to house women aged 18 and above who are victims of rape or abuse.

It is a place where the victims stay temporarily while waiting for judicial review of their cases.

Fatimah said besides the strategic location, the security of residents is their utmost concern.

“Safety is important when we talk about abused women,” she said.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, she said they have to resort to the existing building due to financial constraint.

“We have consulted our counterparts in the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and they are willing to give us some allocation. They assured us of some launching grant.

“But we need an existing building for the purpose because the allocation given is not enough for the cost of a new building,” she said.

Fatimah was in Sibu for a study tour of two banana plantations, Dynasty Development and Dole Sebiro Banana Farm in Kanowit, about 45 minutes from here.

Presently the state has one shelter in Kuching but it is only for young girls aged below 18.

“The state does not have a special place for women above 18 years old,” Fatimah said.

An old building renovated into a shelter is a good start.

“At least we have a place,” Fatimah said.