Syed Azmi: “MOH, Please Improve Govt Hospitals On Handling Rape Cases.”
Malaysian activist Syed Azmi has urged MOH to improve and train government hospital staff on handling sexual abuse cases.
This happened after the activist was helping a young sexual abuse survivor to lodge a police report. She was supposed to be examined at the hospital but the hospital staff had instructed them to make a report at the police station first. The hospital staff appeared unaware that the police report could be done there and then.
“Please understand that these cases are very time-sensitive and we have to take care of the young victim’s mindset to ensure that he/ she does not retract the report.” – Syed Azmi
According to Azmi, most government hospitals have a pondok polis a.k.a. police booth. A policewoman doesn’t have to be the one taking note of the report, any officers will do. However, a young female rape victim will be examined by female hospital staff.
After the incident, Syed Azmi urged hospitals to improve on the management of child sexual abuse cases. “I urge the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women to please clarify and train the hospital staff on where should sexual assault victims go to first – the hospital or the police station. I will follow as instructed.”
Malam ni ada kes gangguan seksual kanak-kanak yang penat saya pujuk, ajar dan bimbing step by step dari nak dapatkan…
Syed goes on to further explain how a child perceives a doctor vs. the police. A child perceives doctors positively as they tend to heal them. Meanwhile, they would be intimidated by police officers who “catch bad people.” Therefore if the child has to go to the police station after being assaulted, it would increase their fear.
The hospital to make a police report on the victim’s behalf. According to the One Stop Crisis Center (OSCC, which is available at emergency rooms in government hospitals) the police report can be done in the hospital itself. The victim will not be made to go to the police station.
Meanwhile, the Women’s Aid Organization states that survivors may lodge a police report at the hospital if one wishes to.
“The OSCC can also help you access police protection, shelter, legal advice, and counselling via the Medical Social Worker or Social Welfare Officer.” – Women’s Aid Organization