A husband telling his wife that she is no longer pretty in an attempt to humiliate her can be classified as an emotional violence offence if amendments are made to the Domestic Violence Act (DVA)1994.
The plan is to amend the DVA for the inclusion of a clause on emotional violence against women.
Currently, they are only protected only against physical abuse, Women's Development Department director-general Datuk Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur said.
She said on Wednesday that the aim for proposing the amendment was to safeguard women both physically and emotionally.
Dr Noorul said emotional violence was a form of abuse that would deeply scar a woman and lower their self-esteem, dignity and self-confidence.
“It could be a case where her husband tells his wife she is ugly or humiliates her until she feels emotionally pressured,” she told reporters at the end of a seminar on how to curb violence against women at Wisma Wanita here.
She added they were in the process of bringing the proposed amendments to Parliament.
State Community development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun closed the seminar organised by Sabah Women’s Affairs Department.
Azizah, in her speech, said that there was a need for the law to protect emotional violence against women.
Azizah said there were a total of 99 cases of violence against women in Sabah in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 220 cases during the same period last year which was reported to the police.