Local wisdom forgotten, hundreds of children fall victim to violence in Aceh

KBR – July 23, 2020
Picture reads ‘Children need a safe environment’ – Undated (Antara)

Alfath Asmunda, Banda Aceh – A series of cases of sexual violence against children has taken place in Aceh. Last week for example, two infants in Greater Aceh became victims of sexual violence committed by their uncle with the initials YL (49).

The non-government organisation (NGO) Flower Aceh, which focuses on children and women’s issues, recorded that there has been 200 cases of violence against children in Aceh between January and July this year.

This is in line with data gathered by the Aceh Integrated Care Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (P2TP2A).

Flower Aceh Executive Director Riswati said that they found three main forms of violence against children, namely sexual violence with 69 cases, rape with 33 cases and psychological violence with 58 cases.

“In several of these cases the violence against children was in fact committed by people closest to them. So we hope that parents and communities ensure there are good preventative measures in place”, she told KBR on Thursday July 23.

Riswati is calling on all parties on Aceh to revive local wisdoms which in the past were a bulwark to protect children. This local wisdom meant that everyone protected children even if the child is not from their own family.

“I remember in the past in Aceh, our local culture and wisdom safeguarded children. For example in the past when a child was out travelling alone, we in Aceh would ensure that the child was safe throughout their journey. This must be developed again by everyone. Mutual cooperation to safeguard each other’s [children] must be reinforced again”, she said.

According to Riswati, although the Aceh regional government recently received an award from the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) for efforts to protect children, this does not mean the protection of children should be relaxed.

“This appreciation must be accompanied by a better system of protection. The government must be more serious about intervening in this problem”, she asserted.

National Children’s Day is commemorated every July 23. This year it is being commemorated with virtual events through the country. This year’s theme is Children Protected, Indonesia Advance, with the slogan Indonesian Children Happy at Home.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Hari Anak Nasional, Ratusan Anak di Aceh Jadi Korban Kekerasan”.]

Source: https://kbr.id/nasional/07-2020/hari_anak_nasional__ratusan_anak_di_aceh_jadi_korban_kekerasan/103382.html