In Malaysia, sexual violence against women is on the rise, said the Women’s Center for Change (WCC) earlier this month.
They reported that every year, some 20,000 sexual crimes occur in the country, which highlights the need for better policing and more concerted action to empower women in Malaysia.
WCC president Mariam Lim said at the opening of the organization’s new office building on Burma Road earlier this month that for every case reported, some 8 to 10 go unreported.
She reported that “63 rape cases were reported in Penang alone in the year 2000, with the number growing more than double by 2010.
“For the same period, the number of reported domestic (violence) cases were about 300.
“At the national level, 3,000 cases of rape and domestic violence each are reported annually,” she said.
Lim said the trend in rape statistics, including the age of victims was even more alarming, adding that recent court judgments in statutory rape cases seemed lopsided.
Women in the country also have reported they are more scared to walk in the streets of the country after more and more women have gone public with attacks against them in recent months.
“I am very scared of getting assaulted and only go out when my friends are with me and we are large group. As they say, power in numbers,” said Mariam Wong, a Malay-Chinese Malaysian marketing student in Kuala Lumpur.
She told Bikyamasr.com that two of her friends had been assaulted recently, “but they didn’t report it because they knew the men who attacked them and didn’t want to get into trouble from their family.”
Lim said the center was also concerned over the way the evidence given by a four-year-old rape victim was viewed by the court, resulting in the sentence on the convicted rapist being overturned.
“WCC will continue to lobby for the improvement of our legal and judiciary system,” she said at the official opening of the WCC building.
Women’s Center for Change , photo MD