IAS logs 9 domestic violence cases in Q1: vice-director

2023-08-16 03:15     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:4

Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) Deputy Director Tang Yuk Wa said yesterday that the bureau had received nine suspected domestic violence cases in the first quarter of this year, while last year’s number of suspected domestic violence cases stood at 39, with an average of 3.1 cases per month, which was, he added, lower than the previous average of 5.2 cases per month.

Less than 10 percent of reported domestic violence cases had men as the victim each year, according to Tang.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an exchange meeting hosted by Caritas Macau at its Clementina Leitão Ho Brito Theatre in Toi San district, Tam reaffirmed that in dealing with the problem of domestic violence, the bureau adheres to its four objectives of prevention, protection, reconciliation or punishment, stressing that in addition to “vigorously” raising public awareness of anti-domestic violence, “there will be no shortage of protective measures”.

For over 10 years the bureau has had a collaboration mechanism with local family and community service entities, which, according to Tang, plays a great role in assessing and evaluating problems in the community, thanks to the proactiveness of civil society organisations.

When asked about the short-term food assistance scheme introduced by the government for the involuntarily unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tang said that the bureau had received a total of 1,065 relevant applications, fewer than expected. He also said that with civil society returning to normality “gradually” this year, the bureau had so far received just 227 applications.

Based on the initial assessment of this year’s application trend, the possibility of continuing the food assistance scheme next year was believed to be low, said Tang, who was quick to add that if individuals are still in need for food assistance in the future, they will be eligible for inclusion in the government’s regular short-term food subsidy system.

Caritas receives over 4,500 calls seeking emotional support last year

Meanwhile, Lei Hong Su, who heads Caritas Macau’s 24-hour Urgent Support Services Helpline, told reporters yesterday that the number of calls through the Catholic social welfare organisation’s crisis line increased from 3,417 in 2018 to 4,529 last year, with the number of cases requesting a further follow-up having risen to 2,666.

According to Lei, the helpline, which has been in operation since 2015, focuses on family problems. She pointed out that the number of calls from those who are contemplating suicide increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, stressing that during each call, the professional social workers will pay close attention to the caller’s mental condition and will immediately refer the case to the police for door-to-door assistance if any critical situation is found.

Lei also noted that a total of 796 calls were made to the crisis line last year on a regular basis, mainly to seek emotional support. 

Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) Deputy Director Tang Yuk Wa talks to reporters on the sidelines of yesterday’s exchange meeting at Caritas Macau’s Clementina Leitão Ho Brito Theatre in Toi San district. – Photo: MPDG

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