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The domestic abuse cases recorded at the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) have gone up to 10 in the month of May this year after the 8 in March.

The highest monthly number of cases previously recorded by BPS was 9 in September 2017.

Officer Rebecca at the BPS who is in-charge of domestic abuse cases said that the number have gone up because people have started reporting the cases now.

In the month of April this year there have been 2 cases and in June this year there have been 3 cases. The number of cases in January is 4 and February is 3.

She added that it is important for people to understand that police intervention is to stop the violence and not to break up the family.

The police has the authority to put a restraining order on the defendant to cease the abuse.

“The defendant and victim need to understand that this is to protect the child and the family, not to break the family,” said officer Rebbeca.

She also said that the nationality of women reporting the abuse currently is Palauan.

Women who face emotional or physical abuse can also reach out to the court directly with a 24 hours open help.

“We started out in 2014 with number of cases being 1 in a month. Last year we received over 60 cases overall,” said Makka Oimei who works as a Family Protection Act Clerk.

The cases that the BPS dealt with last year alone go up to 54, adding the number revealed by court it goes up to 114 in the year 2018.

Oimei has extended her support to the victims of the abuse, “My number is 775-4044, I am on call 24hrs. For those who do not want to go the authorities, I can help them out,” she said.

Oimei gave a rough estimate of over 30 cases of under FPA that have been reported at the court this year.

Combing the BPS number with the court, domestic abuse cases have already gone above 60 this year.

Oimei also added that most victims that reach out to her for help under FPA are Palauan women.

“There have been cases where drugs and alcohol play a factor in abuse. I would say such cases make about 25%,” Oimei said.

The court as well has an authority to put out an immediate restraining order. The court also has the power to keep the victim protected and incognito. However, for the purpose of safety and benefit of the victims, Oimei couldn’t provide more details.

She added, “In most cases the children stay with the parent who is not an abuser or is sent to a home of an extended family.”

It is noteworthy that marital status is not a requirement for women who want to report abuse via the court and can directly reach out to Oimei. (Eshan Kalyanikar)