A group of single mothers and staff of Taylor’s University learned about women’s rights, focusing on domestic violence and sexual harassment, as part of the Legal Aid Day organised by Taylor’s Law School on July 3, 2013 at Taylor’s University.
According to the Women’s Aid Organisation, 8,905 cases of violence against women in Malaysia were recorded in 2012. In its effort to combat this violation, Taylor’s Law School’s very own Legal Aid Centre invited a strong advocate speaker, Betty Yeoh, Programme Manager from All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), to present an interesting talk to the audience.
Betty shared her cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment, why most women are afraid to speak out and how can one deal with such situations.
“Women should not be afraid to stand up for their rights. They should know and believe that they deserve to be loved and no one has the privilege to violate their rights. I am happy to know that Taylor’s Legal Aid Centre has taken the initiative to spread this awareness to the community and in addition, offer free legal aid services to women who seek for help at their centre,” stressed Betty Yeoh.
Pn. Isham bt Romli, founder and business entrepreneur of Misha Creations who makes a living by sewing and supplying catered food, shared, “The talk on women’s right was interesting and very relevant to us, especially the single mothers community that we live in. It helps us understand our rights and what we can do to protect ourselves in such situations. We look forward to another session at our centre so that the whole community can benefit from this.”
She further added that men should also be educated on these issues so that violations of women’s rights will be reduced. In addition, she hopes that Taylor’s Law School will organise more talks like this as it is beneficial to the community at large.
The Legal Aid Centre at Taylor’s University was set up in collaboration with the Bar Council of Malaysia in its effort to develop ethical and socially responsible graduates. Being the very first pro-bono Legal Aid Centre to be established by a private university in Malaysia, the centre is managed by law students with the guidance from their lecturers and overseen by the Bar Council Legal Aid (Kuala Lumpur). To date, the Legal Aid Centre has handled more than 63 cases related to landlord and tenancy matters, family law, consumer, finance and employment matters.
“The collaboration with AWAM enables us to spread awareness and educate women especially in the area of domestic violence and sexual harassment. Students are exposed to a wider range of issues and are given the opportunity to directly manage actual cases while advocating the rights of women in Malaysia,” enthused Heama Latha, Head of Legal Aid Centre and lecturer, Taylor’s Law School.
Through the Legal Aid Centre, Taylor’s Law School is continuously working to advocate other significant issues in Malaysia while offering pro bono services to the public. By educating students beyond the classroom, Taylor’s Law School believes that students will graduate with better knowledge of current issues and practices in the legal fraternity as well as sharpen their skill sets, giving them an edge to shine in their career.