Domestic violence victims are more willing to speak out about their abusive situations due to increasing awareness on the issue, said the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim revealed today that domestic violence cases have increased 43.6 per cent from January to September this year to the 3673 cases reported, last year.

“The increasing reported cases are because women are more aware and willing to file reports on the aggression perpetrated against them,” said Rohani at the launch of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women at the Bandar Tasik Selatan Integrated Transport Terminal on Wednesday.

Out of the domestic violence cases reported this year, 2715 complainants were female followed by 958 male victims.

Due to the encouraging response from these victims, the ministry will be extending its campaign on stopping domestic violence from 60 to 90 days this year, said Rohani.

“We wish to go to the grassroots nationwide to spread the message that there is no need to resorting to violence in a household, aimed at both men and women.”

The ministry’s programmes such as the One Stop Crisis Centre established in hospitals are effective in helping to identify victims of domestic violence.

“Some victims, particularly men, go to the hospital to seek treatment for injuries from an ‘accident’. However, the doctors and nurses are trained to identify injuries from physical abuses. They will then direct the victims to the centre for counselling or to the police if the case is viewed as serious.”

She also said there is an increasing ‘trend’ of men coming forward to report being victims of domestic violence, some even reaching out to her personally via social media.

“Men are embarrassed about being victims. Many of them suffer in silence.”

“I got to know about a case of woman who beat her husband until he fell into a coma."

As such, more programmes will be geared towards getting men involved in gender equality awareness, Rohani said.

One such initiative is the HEforSHE campaign, a global movement designed get men pledge their support and respect for women and to remove gender inequality.

According to 2014 police statistics (up to September), the frequent causes of domestic violence were due ‘misunderstanding’ (2407), financial problems (489), children problems (262), drunk spouse (134) and adultery (117).

Meanwhile, the highest number domestic violence cases occurred in Selangor (498), Kelantan (473), Johor (397), Negeri Sembilan (347) and Kedah (319).

The highest number domestic abuses involved Malays (2202), followed by Indian (685), other ethnicities (417) and Chinese (369).