Police recorded a sharp drop in domestic violence between January and July, with 52 cases, 20 less than in the same period in 2021, being reported.
Following a meeting with police, education and social welfare officials, Northern District Community Service Consultative Council Deputy Convener Hong Wai Tong quoted the officials as saying that the most effective way to prevent future domestic violence is to always report such cases to the government, adding that members of the public should report instances of domestic violence, after which the respective government entities would immediately assess, intervene and proceed to deal with the reported case.
Hong said the Social Welfare Bureau and the Education and Youth Development Bureau would consider introducing more advanced training courses and guidelines, so as to solve the problem of the lack of training for social workers and frontline staff members regarding domestic violence.
Fellow council member Chan Chi Weng noted that once a domestic violence case was reported, the government will list the whole family as a case, not only the individuals concerned, as children may experience post-traumatic effects from witnessing their parents abusing each other.
He quoted the government officials as saying that in future, children’s mental abuse will be independently reported to competent government entities for research and assistance.
Chang Kam Pui, a member of the council, said that since the Covid-19 pandemic struck Macao in early 2020, civil society has been plagued by “tragedies”, such as suicides and domestic violence, adding that according to official statistics, in the first two quarters of this year 47 suicide cases were reported.
Consequently, apart from providing psychological consultations via mobile phone, Chang urged the government to adopt more “face-to-face” ways of consultation with people who need emotional support, such as online, so that those in need could feel the “warmth” provided by the counselling.
Chang also urged the government to set up regular psychological counselling areas for those contemplating suicide at nucleic acid testing (NAT) stations as Covid-19 is easing, which would not only play a long-term role in raising public awareness but could also assist the affected residents who are in urgent need of counselling, The Macau Post Daily reported.