Mitra Wacana – Strengthening women and children as protection against violence

During the last several years, violence against women in Indonesia has increased drastically according to statistics by the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan). There were 119,706 registered cases in 2011. This figure has nearly doubled in 2013 with 216,156 registered cases.

Cases of violence against women are predominantly related to sexual violence (ca. 60%). The even more alarming fact in this context is that the victims were primarily girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years old – in other words, children.

Banjarnegara in Central-Java, ca 150 km to the West of Yogyakarta is a key region. Particularly affected by domestic sexual violence and sexual violence in the public sphere are young girls on their way home from school or during other events occurring after sunset. The data originates from the Banjarnegara Department of Family Planning and Women Empowerment (BKBPP). According to its figures there were 61 cases of sexual violence against women and children in 2012. The remoteness of the region and a lack of access to state services explain why the ability of local civil society to intervene is essential.

The partner organisation Mitra Wacana started its project in mid 2014. The project-region covers four villages (Bondolharjo, Petuguran, Krangjati, and Berta) in the two sub-districts Punggelan and Susukan in the district Banjarnegara.

Mitra Wacana has already had experience working in this region. Two women’s groups were established during former projects, both are active in the field related to sexual violence. Additionally the women’s groups from the region were merged to form a network. Mitra Wacana also has valuable contacts to local governments and public administration offices. The project of AWO International is based on the project-intervention with three components:

- Consciousness-raising of children, youth, and adults.

- Building up and strengthening structures and organisations of civil society and the support of processes offering protection against violence, for the special benefit of discriminated segments of the population.

- Vertical (within organizations of the civil society) and horizontal linking (with state institutions and policy makers)

All these steps together are a contribution to the main goal of the reduction of violence and sexual violence against women and children in Indonesia.

Mitra Wacana was founded in April 1996 in Yogyakarta by women’s groups. They had previously worked in different initiatives and congregated through a shared vision. It contains the elimination of repression and violence against women and children and the fight for a free and fair society. Mitra has changed its form of organisation in October of 2009 into a registered association and was officially listed such as on the 17th of October 2012

The organisation has special competence and experience on the field of children’s rights, with campaigns for young women and girls in order to generate public attention through distribution of informational material and giveaways (comics and brochures) about the issue and the potential for endangerment.

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Contact:

Mitra Wacana
Gedongan Baru Rt 06/RW 43 Palemwulung
No.42. Yogyakarta 55198

Email: plip_mitrawacana [at] yahoo.com
Web: www.mitrawacana.or.id

Director: Mrs. Rindang Farihah