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Coping With Domestic Violence

INRODUCTION

Domestic violence happens all over the world. In Malaysia, a report by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) showed that 75% of women who sought shelter in 2009 were as a result of Domestic Violence. Stastistics from the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) also showed an increasing trend of Domestic Violence reported in Malaysia. When there is violence in the home, especially between parents or spouses, children are often the victims. One or both parents can abuse the children either physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally. In most cases , the children are beaten, kicked or boxed. Many families suffer in silence because the abuser is usually the breadwinner of the family and someone they love. Stress factors that lead to domestic violence include alcoholism or drug abuse in the perpetrator, financial woes in the family, marital breakdowns as well as mental health issues in the abuser.

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SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

If you are an adolescent in a family with violence, you probably will try to protect your younger siblings or your mother from the abuse. You will be vulnerable to physical abuse. As a teenager, you might come across friends of yours who are victims of domestic violence. Look out for signs amongst your friends which include:

  • Bruises, cane marks, lacerations or fractures.
  • Low mood, easy crying among friends.
  • Absenteeism from school
  • Hungry and unkempt at school

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COMPLICATIONS

Teenagers who are victims of domestic violence can suffer from low self esteem, depression and suicidal tendencies. Boys and girls can be sexually abused by the perpetrator . Pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted illness can be a serious complication. You have to seek help immediately. The longer you wait, more harm is done to your family and yourself.

Where to seek help?

  • Your school counselor (who will alert the Social Welfare Officer)
  • Your neighbour or trusted friend
  • The Police
  • Talian Nur -15999
  • Nearest Hospital or Clinic
  • Social Welfare Department (Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat)

If injured, seek immediate treatment at the nearest Hospital. You will be admitted with your siblings if you need protection. The child protector and the doctor will get protection for you and your family. Call 15999 – Talian Nur. The operator will take down the information and get the child protector to investigate as soon as possible.

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PREVENTION

Parents with marital discord or with addiction can get appropriate counseling and treatment. They will have to come to the hospital or to the Social Welfare Department office for counseling. Call 15999 – Talian Nur for help .

REHABILITATION

Parents with psychological problems, addictions or mental problems can be rehabilitated. Your doctor will make the referrals. Children who are victims can also undergo rehabilitation at the hospital if physically, sexually or emotionally abused. Children can be placed in safe families eg relatives, adoptive homes, Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) for protection until the situation improves.

SUPPORT GROUPS/NGOs

The Child protector (Social Welfare Officer) and many NGOs offer protection for victims of domestic violence. Hospitals can be temporary safe places for you and your family till arrangements are made.

Referrences

Women’s Aids Organization statistics compilation, PDRM website, Child Act 2001.

Semakan akhir : 3 Jun 2014
Penulis : Datin Dr. Sheila Marimuthu
Penyemak : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh