Child marriages are not new to Malaysia . But recently, more awareness is being given to the topic, especially after the news of a 41-year-old man marrying an 11-year-old girl went viral. During our Hang Out at Dome Cafe Malaysia with Her World (Ep. 3), we took on the topic to shed more light on it. Our special guests were child activist Dr Hartini Zainuddin, OrphanCare representative Sheerin Khan, child psychologist Katyana Azman, and Cleo Malaysia’s editor Lina Esa.
5 Key Factors You Should Know About Child Marriages:
- Parents: always listen and talk to your children openly about sex and marriage. Sex education is important to ensure teens are aware of the consequences of having sex. Express to them that there are more options available to them than marriage, even if they become pregnant.
- Identify the issues your child may not be aware of and have an open discussion about these topics.
- Child marriage is not only about an adult man marrying a young girl. More commonly, it’s a teen marrying another teen.
- Don’t place shame upon your child and try to solve teen pregnancy with marriage. Kids are still not mentally prepared to handle matrimonial responsibilities.
- Visit a specialist or talk to a counselor if you or your child needs help. Do not leave questions unanswered, hoping they’d solve themselves or go away.
Share these contact details with your children, so they can get the right information:
- Federation of Reproductive Health Associations, Malaysia (FRHAM) at 03-56337514 / 7516 / 7528 and frham.org.my
- Toll-free Talian Nur at 15999 or Childline Malaysia at 03-55692755 and [email protected]
- Social Welfare Department Malaysia at jkm.gov.my/jkm/index.php
- PDRM Malaysia at rmp.gov.my to locate nearest police station with D11 (Sexual, Women, and Child Investigations) Unit for advice and filing a report
- All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) for counselling on sexual harassment and rape at [email protected], [email protected], 03-78770224 or 03-78774221
- Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) for counselling and shelter at 03-79563488 (helpline) and 018-9888058 (SMS)
- Women’s Centre for Change for counselling and free legal advice at 04-2280342 and [email protected]
- Perak Women for Women at 05-5469715 and [email protected]
- Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group (SAWO) at 088-280200 and [email protected]
- Sarawak Women for Women Society at 082-442660/082-416053
- Protect & Save the Children (P.S. The Children) at 03-79574344/ 79564355 and [email protected]