The rise of domestic violence during COVID-19 is a crisis within a crisis. Survivors are in need of safe spaces, like Women’s Aid Organisation's shelters, to start a new life free from violence.
Pledge Amount to be used for
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) runs the largest shelter for domestic violence survivors in Malaysia and provides a safe space for an average of 10 women monthly. The funds raised from this campaign will be used to manage our shelters (The Refuge and Child Care Centre). Example of expenses for the months of October – December:
Living Expenses for 3 Month
Grand Total RM20,064.00
Risks and Challenges
During the MCO period earlier this year, WAO experienced a fourfold increase in enquiries through our helplines and we were providing support nationwide as well. As such, we had set up 2 temporary shelters to ensure that more survivors were able to have a safe place when other shelters, including WAO’s The Refuge, were at maximum capacity. Due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases again, WAO is anticipating another possible increase in reports and therefore, may not be able to accommodate all survivors who reach out to us for shelter support. We may have to set up temporary safe spaces again for them, which would incur a higher cost of us operationally when funding and resources are scarce.
Another risk would be the health of our current residents at The Refuge and our staff who work closely with our clients. They are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19 infections, especially when dealing with new clients for case management. A separate space would be needed to quarantine new clients coming into our shelter space and running COVID-19 tests for them would be needed before they move in.
WAO continues to provide life-saving services and support to women and child survivors of domestic violence nationwide throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are anticipating another rise in domestic violence cases due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, which resulted in the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Selangor.
Many need a safe space to turn to when they leave their abusive homes. As such, continuing the operations of our shelter, which is the largest in Malaysia, is more important than ever to cater to those who seek refuge with us. Along with providing a temporary refuge for survivors during their transition period, WAO ensures that women and child survivors also receive psychosocial support to manage their trauma effectively through the necessary tools shared during therapy sessions with licensed psychologists. Women survivors at our shelter are also provided with resilience programmes and activities, where they enhance their current skills and learn new ones. This is so that they are sufficiently equipped with the necessary skills for job opportunities and be self- sustaining in the long run. For child survivors, enrichment activities at the shelter are an integral part of the support we provide; to help them live a normal, healthy, and balanced childhood.
Your support for the operation of our shelter is essential to ensure that survivors are safe from their abusers and able to have access to the various support available for them reintegrate back into society once more as empowered individuals.
The operations of our shelter are to provide survivors a safe space to heal and rebuild their lives gradually. Survivors leaving abusive homes often have nowhere else to go, and they are in need of proper support that WAO provides when they start a new life with their children.