FEMALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THEIR RIGHTS TO COMPENSATION IN MALAYSIA

Mohd Safri Mohammed Na'aim, Ramalinggam Rajamanickam, Rohaida Nordin

Abstract

In Malaysia, victims of domestic violence including women may seek protection under the Domestic Violence Act 1994 (Act 521) (hereinafter “DVA 1994”). Pursuant to section 10 of the DVA 1994, female victims of domestic violence (hereinafter “FVDV”) have the right to claim compensation from their husbands or former husbands (hereinafter “Abusive Husbands”). The criminal court also has jurisdiction to make a compensation order as stated under section 426 (1A) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593) (hereinafter “CPC”). A qualitative approach was used for this research, consisting of a detailed analysis of the DVA 1994, CPC, Penal Code (Act 574), case laws, journals, newspapers and scholarly writings related to this area. Based on the findings, there are shortcomings within both provisions which may affect the FVDV’s claim for compensation. Thus, it is timely to propose amendments and reforms to enhance their rights. These include the insertion of a provision stressing that the claim for compensation under section 10 of the DVA 1994 can be applied through a stand-alone application, the inclusion of a provision allowing the compensation order to be initiated by the court on its own motion or upon the application by the FVDV themselves, imposing a responsibility on the court to give reasons if the court decides to disallow the application for compensation made, explaining the legal consequence to the offender should the offender fail to comply with the compensation order, and alternatively to consider a state-funded compensation scheme to provide immediate financial assistance to FVDV without going through the court process.

 

Keywords: Abusive husbands, domestic violence, female victims of domestic violence (FVDV), right to compensation.

 

Cite as: Mohammed Na’aim, M. S., Rajamanickam, R., & Nordin, R. (2019). Female victims of domestic violence and their rights to compensation in Malaysia. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 4(1), 384-400. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol4iss1pp384-400

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