domestic violence & its effect on children by vicky alahakone alahakone & associates...
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE & ITS EFFECT
BY VICKY ALAHAKONE ALAHAKONE & ASSOCIATES
Child Protection Acts & Policies in Malaysia• Child Act 2001 • Domestic Violence Act 1994• Penal Code • Evidence Act - 1950• Criminal Procedure Code (CPC)• Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007• Convention of the Rights of Children (CRC)• National Child Protection Policy (NCPP)• National Policy on Children• National Policy on reproductive plan & social
Domestic Violence Defined
When a child has been:• Physically injured• Emotionally injured• Sexually abused
• Rupture of viscus • Scalding • Burns• Loss of Consciousness• Loss of Hair• Loss of Teeth
• Laceration • Contusion• Abrasion• Fracture• Dislocation• Sprain• Haemorrhaging
A result of non accidental application of force on Child’s Body
• Mental or behavioural disorder • Anxiety• Depression• Withdrawal• Aggression• Late Development
Observable Impairment of Child
• Pornographic • Publication of Indecent
Materials• Obscene Photographs• Obscene recording • Sexual exploitation for
another persons sexual gratification
Participating or observing activities which are sexual in nature :
• During custody battles• Brain washing• Child Put in fear of loss on one parent• Child put in fear of physical violence
Common Cause of Emotional Abuse
Events After Disclosure
• Dysfunctional Family• Lack of parental support
(Disbelief, Denial, Secrecy, Rejection)• Giving testimony against the abuser• Post traumatic stress disorder
Attitude Towards Self & Others
• Negative self concept• Ambivalence to non offending parent• Sense of powerlessness• Expectation of betrayal• Threat to family integrity• Depression/aggression/ sexual problems• High drop out rate• Delayed development• Indifference/disassociation • Disruptive or impulsive behaviour• Withdrawal• Anxiety Attack• Mental Behavioural Disorder
National Child Protection Policy 2009• Setting up of 24 hour Helpline (Talian Nur-15999)
Pros• Attend to calls from
• Members of public able to report child abuse cases directly to authorities.
• Toll Free Line.
• Calls streamed and referred directly to Social Welfare Department.
Cons• Operators not trained
to handle distress calls.
• Callers will be referred to relevant NGOs & Social Welfare Department.
• Too many prank calls.
National Child Protection Policy 2009• Setting up of 24 hour Helpline (Child Line -
Pros• Operators trained to
handle calls from children.
• Calls are Toll Free.
Cons• Operators are para-
counsellors – need to refer calls to relevant child protectors.
• Too many prank calls
National Child Protection Policy 2009• Setting up of 24 hour (Nur Alert – By Subscription Only.)
Pros • Royal Malaysian Police
disseminates the alerts to the government & Non government agencies.
• Members who have subscribed will be notified immediately.
• Missing children go viral.
Cons• Only members who
have subscribed will be alerted.
• Public not aware and educated on the difference between Talian NUR and NUR-Alert.
• Not many subscribers.
• Only 5 reported cases on NUR Alert.
Data of Child Abuse 2009- 2011
Data of Child Abuse by Ethnic & Sex
Inter Agency Organizations
• One stop crisis centres• Children’s Homes• Child protection Teams• Child Activities Centres• Child Interview Centres
One Stop Crisis CentrePros Cons
• One centre for victims of abuse and rape to receive help from the medical, police & social welfare departments.
• Delay in investigation• Medical reports not available
immediately • Shortage of welfare officers,
therefore victims lack counselling services.
• No protection given to victims once discharged from hospital.
• Admitted child exposed to other children who are admitted and undergoing different psychological programs.
• Lack of One Stop Crisis Centres in all states & towns especially rural areas.
Children’s HomesPros Cons
• Established to provide safety for victims of violence.
• Partnership projects between corporate bodies & welfare departments.
• Temporary shelter for children.
• Homes over crowded.• Children left in care of
untrained personnel. • Children exposed to
various psychological issues suffered by other children.
• Lack of funds and financing by the government.
• Lack of trained resident counsellors.
Child Protection Teams
• Set up at State & District Levels in high risk areas.
• Enables community to implement preventive & rehabilitative programs.
• Builds awareness among public and involves volunteers
• Lack of volunteers.• Insufficient Training
provided.• No support system
from authorities to back up teams.
Child Activities Centres
Pros Cons• Centre for children to
collect and meet• Carry out creative,
recreational and sports, and support services for families.
• Handles social problems such as child abuse, neglect, truancy, delinquency, and drug abuse
• Lack of trained personnel to manage centres.
• Lack of activities.• Stigma to be seen
participating or actively involved in the activities in these centres.
Child Interview Centres
• Managed by the Royal Malaysian Police to take statements, video recordings & collect evidence from child victims and witnesses.
• Need to train and sensitise police towards children when taking evidence.
• Delay in undertaking interviews with children.
Child Victims in the Malaysian Courts
• Child victims devoid of legal assistance during court proceedings.
• Lack of protection provided to victim and families, pending proceedings.
• Children not familiarized with court proceedings prior to trial.
• No provision for lawyers to represent children in court proceedings.
• Children not familiar with court and proceedings.• No party to liaise with police on behalf of child.• Lack of advice for children.• No appointment of child advocate/friend to
accompany child to court. • Watching brief for family of child. Limited role for
lawyer during proceedings.
Child Representation in the Malaysian Court
Burden on Child• Preparation of child to give evidence in
court.• Attendance in court with accused.• Effects of cross examination on child.• Consequences of court postponements on
child.• Delayed trials.• Need for child to recount incident until trial
The Protectors• Police Officers• Doctors• Welfare Officers • Parents • Guardians• Foster Parents• Psychologists/ Psychiatrists• No Lawyers
Role of Magistrates• Ensure safety of child victims and witnesses.• Cases given priority hearings.• Facilitate evidence of child to be taken via video
link/ separated by a screen/ other arrangements.• Sensitised to needs of children.
Inter Agency Collaboration
• Need for relevant authorities to collaborate to assist victims.
• Need for centres to be set up in rural areas.• Cooperation required between agencies.• Authorities to protect and place the needs of the
children above other unconditionally.