Dear friends of WAOSelamat Tahun Baru! Happy New Year to all of you! Here in Malaysia we will also be celebrating Chinese New Year – the year of the Dragon.Hope everyone had a good start to 2012. This year, the Women’s Aid Organisation turns 30 and what a journey it has been. For many years, we heard from women recalling horrific abuses that they have to face but we also heard their inspiring stories of fighting back and staying strong.In December 2011, we were shocked when one of our clients was abducted by her own husband. She was kidnapped twice and the second time, 6 men hired by her husband took her away to another state. Her family, her employer and WAO made police reports. Fortunately when she was forced by her husband to withdraw a previous report that she made against him, this report that was made in another state led the police to where she was being held.During this ordeal, an investigation police officer still maintained that this abduction is a private family matter! Remember when you received our last project report and we talked about seeing improvements in the welfare department, the police and the courts?In 2012, we want to advocate strenuously for protection and safety for women, especially those in dangerous situations. Victim safety must be at the heart of police response. We want to change the attitude of the police because a number of them still think domestic violence is a family affair and by taking action, they believe that they are breaking up the family. And because of that, there wasn’t any urgency in investigating these cases.Why are there still misguided notions that women are supposed to suffer and ‘just bear with it’? By now, the public should already know that no one deserves to be battered.This year, WAO will also be planning to expand its services to another state to reach out to more women and continue educating the public especially the younger generation about their participation in stopping violence against women.We are now migrating to a new FB page and you can ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/womens.aid.org and advocate for change.
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