Nancy: Financial problems, third party involvement main factors of domestic violence in M’sia

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Nancy (centre) speaks to the media after inaugurating the Semarak Skuad Waja Sarawak programme today.

KUCHING (Feb 17): Financial problems and the involvement of third parties are identified as primary factors contributing to domestic violence cases in this country, said Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the inability to meet family needs has the potential to drive an individual to resort to violent actions.

“When the economy is unfavourable, it puts pressure on families due to the inability to provide for household needs. Therefore, financial difficulties become one of the reasons for domestic violence.

“Earlier, we were discussing drugs, and while they may be present, they are not the primary causes because, in most cases, the issues stem from financial problems.

“The second factor is more related to the involvement of third parties,” she told a press conference after inaugurating the Semarak Skuad Waja Sarawak programme at a hotel here today.

Nancy said based on the police statistics, 5,507 cases of domestic violence were recorded nationwide in 2023 compared to 6,540 cases in 2022.

“For Sarawak, the reported cases of domestic violence in 2023 were 473, a decrease from 624 cases in 2022.

“Although the number of cases saw a decrease of 24.2 per cent compared to 2022, it’s not a positive development as Sarawak still ranks third in domestic violence issues,” she said.

However, she did not dismiss the possibility that other states might also have high domestic violence cases, but they go unreported due to various factors.

“That’s why we established the Waja Squad as one of the ways to help address this, especially in addressing issues of violence against women.

“We even have village leaders, chiefs, or those holding the highest positions in the village who can be consulted and assist if something happens,” she said.

This is because those responsible in the village are tasked with maintaining security and helping to protect individuals who may potentially become victims of domestic violence, she pointed out.

Waja Squad is a volunteer initiative established by the Department of Women’s Development to empower the community by providing psychosocial guidance and implementing community activities.

This programme covers various aspects such as well-being, leadership, safety, and economics to enhance awareness of crimes against women.

Since the establishment of the Waja Squad in 2021 until December 2023, there have been 329,221 members nationwide. In Sarawak alone, there are 2,919 Waja Squad members.