In response to the rising cases of domestic violence in the country, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) has spearheaded an initiative to make mosques a transit centre for victims of domestic violence.
Jawi added that the initiative is a collaboration with the Women’s Development Department under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and it was kicked off in May this year.
According to Bernama, Jawi Director, Datuk Mohd Ajib Ismail said the facility will be open to both men and women, and including the non-Muslims too.
He said this programme is part of Jawi’s 5-year plan to expand the role of mosques located in the federal territories as they move towards serving local community centres by providing various facilities to meet the psychosocial and spiritual needs of people from all walks of life.
Meanwhile, to kickstart the programme, 2 mosques in Kuala Lumpur will offer this facility and they are the Federal Territory Mosque in Segambut and Al-Ghufran Mosque in Taman Pinggir Tun Dr Ismail. They will also be adding 12 more mosques on the list soon.
Mohd Ajib said the facility is only meant for victims of domestic violence and have nowhere to go.
The mosque will be giving lodging, clothing and food for a minimum of 3 days too.
In addition, they will be provided spiritual guidance and counselling services if required.
“The mosque concerned will provide protection to the victim on condition that a police report related to the domestic violence case has been lodged and, if needed, an emergency protection order has been issued by the Social Welfare Department (JKM).” he said.
However, he did not clarify if these supplementary services will be made mandatory for all, especially in the case of non-Muslims granted temporary asylum.
At the same time, the Department of Women’s Development director-general, Dr Zurina Abdul Hamid have expressed her concern on the uptrend in domestic abuse complaints they’ve received since the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
She revealed that there were 5,260 cases reported in 2020, compared to only 3,263 in 2019. As for the first 6 months of 2021 alone, they’ve recorded 3,970 reports of domestic abuse.
“Between January and June 2020, (the ministry’s helpline) Talian Kasih received 1,436 calls, and during the same period this year, 1,621 calls were received.” Zurina said.
She then said the ministry hopes this project will provide more support for the victims of domestic violence and help them muster the courage to leave the place that is endangering their life and causing them hurt.
All that said, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. If you or anybody you know is suffering from domestic violence, please reach out to these hotlines: