Jamal had been abusing his wife since 2008.
He pleaded guilty before the Magistrate’s Court and was fined RM1,500, with a default jail time of three months. He was also ordered to pay Zulkefeli RM400 as compensation.
Haliza reported that although she was being abused since 2008, it began escalating in 2014, until it reached a point where it was unbearable in 2015.
That’s when she was forced to seek help.
But help was not easy to find for Haliza. Although there was a one-stop crisis centre at the Sibu Hospital, where she worked, she was too embarrassed to go there and confess her situation to the staff, who were her own juniors and colleagues.
Finally, she found help at the Women Aid Organisation (WAO) and the Johor Empowerment of Intellectual Women Association.
She was returned to West Malaysia, where family and friends helped her rebuild her life for herself and her three children.
Today, Haliza and her husband are going through the divorce process. Haliza said, however, that she has forgiven her husband and holds no grudges against him, a report from The Borneo Post said.
Haliza now works as a volunteer for the two organisations that helped her in her time of greatest need. She is hoping she can also help other women recognise when they are being abused, know that it is not their fault and is nothing to be ashamed of, and escape from the violence that she herself had also experienced.
WAO social worker Yogasri Sivanyanam said that Haliza’s case shows that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. It is not limited to women in certain religions, economic backgrounds, or levels of education.
“I pray that more women here can take Dr Haliza as an inspiration because we have a system, we have people that can help; if you do not stand up for your rights, you cannot expect people to stand up for you,” Sivanyanam said. MIMS