Gender-based Violence

What is Gender-based Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is harm done to someone because of their gender. It could involve force, threats, lies, cultural pressures, or money. Mostly, girls and women are victims of GBV. However, LGBTIQ+ people, boys, and men can also be victims. All types of sexual and gender-based violence violate someone’s human rights. Many of these acts are crimes and can be punished under Malaysian law.

Forms of Gender-Based Violence

Sexual violence is any sexual act done without the victim’s consent. It includes rape, sexual abuse, harassment, exploitation, and forced prostitution. This can happen between a husband and wife if one person does not agree to a sexual act. Any sexual act with a child (someone younger than 18 years old) is also sexual violence. It hurts the child’s growth and health, both physically and mentally.

Physical violence is when someone is hurt physically – for example, hitting, punching, injuring seriously, or killing. It often happens at the same time as emotional and psychological harm.

Emotional or psychological violence is when someone is insulted or verbally abused. An example would be someone being called weak or being cursed at because she is a woman. It could mean keeping a person away from their friends and family or limiting where they can go.

Socio-economic violence is when a person is stopped from doing normal daily activities, for example, girls not being allowed to go to school or women being stopped from getting healthcare or working.

Domestic violence is harm done by one family member to another family member. It can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or economic violence. It can be done by parents, spouses, partners, ex-partner, whether they live together or not.

Harmful practices include female circumcision, honour killings, polygamous marriages (marriages to more than one person), marriage of a child (any person who is younger than 18 years old) and forced marriage.

How to Report Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Sexual exploitation and abuse are unacceptable behaviours and prohibited for all United Nations and NGO partners’ staff members.

What is Sexual Exploitation?

Any actual or attempted misuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. For example, a teacher using their power to force a refugee child to commit a sex act or an aid worker withholding much-needed services unless a refugee has sex with them. It also includes trafficking and prostitution.

What is Sexual Abuse?

Any actual or threatened sexual activity carried out forcefully or under unequal or coercive conditions. This can include rape, sexual assault, or verbal sexual harassment.

Sexual exploitation and abuse can occur to anyone – men, women, boys, girls, of any age, with or without disabilities, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and in any circumstances.

Adhering to the United Nations standards of conduct, staff members of UNHCR and NGO partners must not:

  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone in exchange for money, employment, preferential treatment, goods, or services.
  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone under 18 years of age.
  • Indulge in any other form of sexually humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour.

If you are aware of, have concerns or suspicions about a potential case of sexual exploitation and abuse by a UNHCR, UN, NGO partners’ staff member, or the staff of refugee learning centres or community organizations, please report this directly to Women’s Aid Organization, who are UNHCR’s partner in receiving sexual exploitation and abuse reports:

You can also report this directly to the UNHCR Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at UNHCR Headquarters:

When making a report, you should include:

  1. What happened?
      • Detail what you know about the incident(s)
  2. Who committed the alleged wrongdoing?
      • If possible, provide full names, job titles, and organisation, and information on any other involvement
  3. When and where did the incident(s) occur?
      • If possible, include dates and times

Your report will be treated with discretion and kept strictly confidential and will not affect your UNHCR case. If a criminal act has been committed, you can also make a police report. All complainants and whistle-blowers will be linked with support services and assistance.

UNHCR seeks to support any refugee or asylum-seeker who has experienced gender-based violence (GBV), such as domestic violence, sexual violence, forced or child marriage, harassment, or human trafficking. If you or someone you know needs GBV assistance, please reach out to one of the UNHCR partners listed below.

Partner Organisations

Details
Services
Contact Details
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
Area: Klang Valley, Kedah and Johor

Language: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Burmese, Hakha, Tedim, Falam, Zaniat, Mizo, Kachin, Rohingya, Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Persian and Dari

Operating Hours: 24 hours, Monday to Sunday

Case management, assistance making police report, connecting with medical aid, mental health support, shelter
Call: 03-30008858
TINA WhatsApp Service:
018-9888058
International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
Area: Klang Valley, Penang, Perak and Kedah

Language: Rohingya, Burmese, Arabic, Somali

Operating Hours: 9.00am-9.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Case management, mental health and psychosocial support services, shelter, referrals to appropriate services
Burmese, Rohingya & English (Klang Valley): +6010 421 1274

Burmese, Rohingya & English (Penang): +6014 240 0191

Arabic, Somali & English: +6016 204 0291

Chin & English: +6013 263 1837

Email: sgbv.my@icmc.net

Rohingya Society of Malaysia (RSM)
Area: Klang Valley

Language: English, Rohingya, Burmese

Operating Hours: 9.00am-9.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Referrals to appropriate service
RSM Careline: +6017 240 5830
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Area: Penang

Language: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Rohingya, Burmese

Operating Hours: 9.00am-10.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Clinical case management, mental health and psychosocial support services, referrals to appropriate services
Medical Hotline: +60111 614 5454
Cahaya Surya Bakti
Area: Johor

Language: English, Malay and Rohingya

Operating Hours: 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday-Friday

Case management and referrals to appropriate services
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
Details

Area: Klang Valley, Kedah and Johor

Language: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Burmese, Hakha, Tedim, Falam, Zaniat, Mizo, Kachin, Rohingya, Somali, Arabic, Swahili, Persian and Dari

Operating Hours: 24 hours, Monday to Sunday

Services

Case management, assistance making police report, connecting with medical aid, mental health support, shelter

Contact

Call: 03-30008858
TINA WhatsApp Service:
018-9888058

International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
Details

Area: Klang Valley, Penang, Perak and Kedah

Language: Rohingya, Burmese, Arabic, Somali

Operating Hours: 9.00am-9.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Services

Case management, mental health and psychosocial support services, shelter, referrals to appropriate services

Contact

Rohingya / Burmese: 010-4211274
Arabic / Somali: 016-204 0491
Rohingya (Penang Hotline): 014-2400191

Rohingya Society of Malaysia (RSM)
Details

Area: Klang Valley

Language: English, Rohingya, Burmese

Operating Hours: 9.00am-9.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Services

Referrals to appropriate service

Contact

RSM Careline: +6017 240 5830

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Details

Area: Penang

Language: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Rohingya, Burmese

Operating Hours: 9.00am-10.00pm, Monday to Sunday

Services

Clinical case management, mental health and psychosocial support services, referrals to appropriate services

Contact

Medical Hotline: 0111-6145454

Cahaya Surya Bakti
Details

Area: Johor

Language: English, Malay and Rohingya

Operating Hours: 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday-Friday

Services

Case management and referrals to appropriate services

Government Services

Police

You have the right to report any threat or GBV incident at any police station. Please remember to bring along your identification documents when you make a police report.

Police reports can only be made in either Bahasa Malaysia or English. The report will contain details of what happened, the date and time it occurred, where it happened, and who committed the violence. If you cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia or English, try to bring along someone you trust who can help translate your report into Bahasa Malaysia or English.

UNHCR partners, such as WAO, can provide more information on how to make a police report. You can call WAO at 03-3000-8858 or SMS/WhatsApp 018-988-8058, before making a report to get more information on what needs to be done. The WAO website has more information on what victims of rape or sexual assault or domestic violence can do, but the information is only in English.

One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC)

One Stop Crisis Centres are located in the Emergency Department of most government hospitals. Survivors of GBV violence who approach an OSCC can receive a physical examination, medical treatment, and a test for sexually transmitted infections. The OSCC can also help you connect you with the police and shelter and counselling services.

More information on OSCC services can be found on the WAO website, but the information is only in English.

Relevant Materials