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In my preparation for the lecture on OSCC for final year medical students (power point slides attached above), I find that the amount of information and powerpoint slides on OSCC from the medical point of view is grossly inadequate. Many of the resources that I have found lack a good grasp on fundamental legal background knowledge. Although we are not called to be lawyers, but as doctors (particularly doctors working in the emergency medicine departments), we should have at least some background legal knowledge especially pertaining to common cases seen in OSCC. Furthermore, these cases are loaded with medico-legal implications.
After doing further research on this topic, I found out that there are much more information out there than what I've ever known, particular legal knowledge on such cases. In this post, I have pieced together some of these information that I have found, which I hope will be of use to Malaysian doctors.
Before continuing, some historical background on OSCC:
1986 - First OSCC established in the University Hospital (UMMC), as a response to the anti-violence against women campaign staged by women‘s organizations in the preceding year.
1993 - to make the service more widely available, the second was created in Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL). Before that, all cases were handled on ad-hoc basis.
1996 - Ministry of Health Malaysia directed all state hospitals to set up the OSCC for victims of domestic violence.
By 1997, the OSCC was established in 90 per cent of government hospitals nationwide. At present, there are more than 100 centers throughout the country.
When a woman comes to the Accident and Emergency Unit at any of these hospitals, saying that they suffer injuries due to rape or domestic violence, etc, the OSCC arranges an immediate medical examination by a doctor, as well as providing treatment. The OSCC room will be used for the management, treatment and counseling of the victim conditions - including rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and sodomy. There shall be a patient toilet and shower facility within this room.
In other words, OSCC is a place where the victims can seek treatment, obtain other form of necessary help.
It is a PATIENT CENTERED MANAGEMENT place because officers from all relevant agencies will come to provide assistance once they are called.
Malaysian Legal Definition of Rape:
Under Section 375 of the Penal Code, it is defined as:
Sexual intercourse obtained through force or threat of force without the victim’s consent. There must be some penile penetration, however slight. Ejaculation is not necessary (Section 375 Penal Code)
Whereas Section 376 of the Penal Code states that whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for a minimum term of five years and a maximum term of twenty years, and shall be liable to whipping.
Unfortunately, the current definition of rape has gross limitations:
- It excludes other violent acts such as penile penetration of the victim’s mouth or anus, or insertion of fingers and other objects into the survivor’s vagina, and
- It excludes the possibility of men being raped when in reality men and boys are also subjected to acts of sexual violence, degradation, and violations of their body too
- It excludes the possibility that wives can be raped by their husbands, thereby treating married women as the property of their husbands and to be used by them as they please.
The Women's Center For Change Penang (WCC Penang) website has an eye-opening section on myths of rape. Click here.
The offense of statutory rape in Malaysia is dealt under Section 375 of the Malaysian Penal Code.
Statutory rape is defined as any sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 years of age is considered rape irrespective of whether victim’s consent was obtained.
Fresh vs Cold cases
Fresh Rape Case: any rape survivors presenting to health facility within 72 hours of the incident.
Cold Rape Case: any rape survivor presenting to health facility after 72 hours of the incident.
All other offenses such as non-consented kissing and fondling of the breast or woman’s private part [an outrage of modesty but without penetration] as well as forced anal sex, and the insertion of objects into the vagina, mouth or anus maybe charged under "sexual assault".
Sodomy/carnal intercourse is charged under Penal Code Section 377
Section 377A defines what a carnal intercourse means
Section 377B describes offenses in consensual carnal intercourse
Section 377C describes offenses in non-consensual carnal intercourse (against the will)
“Any person who has sexual connection with another person by the introduction of the penis into the anus or mouth of the other person is said to commit carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” (Penal Code, Section 377A)
“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.” (Penal Code, Section 377B)
“Whoever voluntarily commits carnal intercourse against the order of nature on another person without the consent, or against the will, of the other person, or by putting the other person in fear of death or hurt to the person or any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty years, and shall also be liable to whipping.” (Penal Code Section 377C
In other words, sodomy is a crime whether consensual or non-consensual.
Download the article Gender Discriminatory Laws in Malaysia. Click here.
Download the article Status of Women Under Malaysian Laws. Click here.
Download the article Rape - the Malaysian scenario. Click here.
Q: Is there any legal provision under the Malaysian Law for domestic violence?
Yes. With the passing of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) in 1994, domestic violence was no longer a private matter but a societal concern. It is a crime under the penal code.
Download the Domestic Violence Act 1994 here. Click here.
Under the Domestic Violence Act 1994, it means the commission of any of the following acts:
- willfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, the victim in fear of physical injury causing physical injury to the victim by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in physical injury
- compelling the victim by force or threat to engage in any conduct or act, sexual or otherwise, from which the victim has right to abstain
- confining or detaining the victim against the victim’s will or
- causing mischief or destruction or damage to property with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause distress or annoyance to the victim
Note: Interim Protection Order is only valid during the period of investigation to prohibit the person against whom the order is made from further harming the victim. Interim Protection Order ceases once the period of investigation is completed. For better further protection, get a Protection Order especially once the offender is charged with a crime. Click here to read further on this.
So, is domestic violence per se a crime under the Malaysian law?
No. Domestic Violence per se is not a specific crime under Domestic Violence Act 1994, although domestic violence can inevitably lead to physical injuries.
In other words, the legislation of Domestic Violence Act 1994 has to be read together with the provisions under the Penal Code.
Click here for an article in the Malaysian Bar for further explanation.
Under the The Child Act 2001 (Akta Kanak-kanak 2001), a child is defined as
any human being under 18 years of age (Section 2, The Child Act 2001)
The Child Act 2001 can be downloaded here.
This age limit of under 18 years of age is also similarly defined in The (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (Article 1). Click here.
Child abuse can take many forms - physical, emotional, verbal, shaken baby syndrome, etc.
The table below gives a rough estimation of the age of the bruise in cases of trauma.
Color of Bruise
Age of Bruise
Red (Swollen, tender)
0 – 2 days
2 – 5 days
5 – 7 days
7 - 10 days
10 – 14 days
No further evidence of bruising
2 – 4 weeks
Click here for the guide.
Click here for a very comprehensive article on child abuse (download FREE in pdf)
© 2010 by Dr. Keng Sheng CHEW
Some Notes on One Stop Crisis Center by Dr. Keng Shenfg Chew is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.