Abused husbands urged to seek help

Malaysia's Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (in yellow), accompanying Singapore's Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob during her visit to Malaysia's parliament on Nov 20.

KUALA LUMPUR - Men suffering from spousal abuse should come forward so that help can be given to them, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.

Rohani said that she had received reports of abuse experienced by men.

"Often the complainants do not come to me in person, preferring to use only social media to contact me. They do this to protect their identities," she added.

Rohani said abused men should seek help from the ministry as they, as much as women, were entitled to the ministry's protection.

"It is not written in our laws that only women, or wives, are eligible to receive our protection.

"However, male abuse victims need to come forward so we can determine how best to tackle the case together," she told reporters after launching a seminar on leadership skills for lower-ranked policewomen at the police academy in Cheras here.

Rohani added that the first step to helping out male victims of spousal abuse was to provide them with counselling.

She said training was provided to members of the 1Malaysia Perwani Community to equip them with skills to counsel male and female victims of abuse.

Perwani was a community-based programme to implement the Government's transformation plans within the women's respective communities.

In addition to counselling, Perwani will also be collaborating with members of the Amanita (Peace Lady) project to organise a self-defence programme for housewives from January 2015, Rohani said.

"It is important for housewives to have knowledge of self-defence. This way, they can protect themselves and their families from snatch thefts, domestic violence and other crimes," she said.