Violence against women has become a global issue, the worrisome numbers of physical and psychological violence against women were increasing in many countries. A study published by the WHO shows that violence against women happens in a very broad spectrum, seeping through different regions and occurring at all economic levels of society.
The study found that one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence in her life by someone she knew, could be a husband, boyfriend, family member or friend.
This study represents the first systematic research on global data experiencing the prevalence of violence against women by a close partner or non-partner. WHO, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Medical Research Council of South Africa, they are gathering data from 81 countries in 2010.
Southeast Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Africa and Latin America are regions with highest percentage (30%) of violence against women in the world. However, the study shows that violence against women does not only occur in developing countries, 23.2% of violence against women also occurs in high-income countries.
Violence against women is one of Indonesia’s main homework. In the past 13 years, National Committee of Women (Komnas Perempuan) released 400.939 cases of violence against women reported by the public, and 93.960 of which are sexual assault cases.
Violence against women is believed to be an interdisciplinary problem, a mix of social, cultural, economic and other aspects. Patriarchal culture that places men as the dominant party in the household and community, also the lack of education of the rights and protection of women often become the trigger factor for violence against women.
The campaign to fight violence against women has been conducted in many parts of the world. One of them is “The 16 Days Campaign on Violence against Women”, which is an annual international campaign that aims to encourage the eradication of violence against women worldwide.
Then there is the campaign against violence against women pioneered by women in Latin America named Campaign #NiUnaMenos (No One Again). Not only did they seek to present the stories of women who have experienced violence to the world, but these activists sought for concrete implementation of the laws that protect women and harsher penalties against the perpetrators.
Similar to what happens on a global scale, violence against women is an issue that must be resolved. Indonesia’s eastern region is a region that is considered quite vulnerable to violence against women; this was confirmed by the Chairman of Commission A of the Manokwari Regional House of Representative (DPRD), Ayu Humairah Bataray in Manokwari who suggested that cases of violence against women in Manokwari, West Papua is still rather high which can be seen from the list of police reports and data on the cases handled by the local hospital.
It requires the cooperation of various stakeholders to reduce the number of violence against women. The role of the central and local government along with other stakeholders in the protection efforts against women needs to be improved.
The Central Government, through the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs are expected to evaluate their programs that have been developed by each Ministry regarding the protection and prevention of violence against women.
National House of Representatives (DPR RI) is pushed to ratify the bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence, as proposed by the National Commission for Women, the bill is expected to be a reference in the handling of cases of sexual violence in more comprehensive and measurable manners, starting with the prevention stage, punishing the perpetrator, and the recovery process of victims.
The police are expected to treat violence against women as a serious crime, where the law could be served as an effective medium to prevent and diminish the violence against women.
The role of the Institution / Cultural and Religious Leaders and Non-Governmental Organizations to raise public awareness to create a balanced life between men and women across age and social class by halting all forms of violent behavior and traditions that disadvantage women needs to be encouraged.
Local governments could adopt this into a Regional Regulation (Perda) that will handle the prevention and rehabilitation of the victims. Through the regulation, a task force consisting of all elements from the stakeholders could be created to resolve all the cases of violence against women in the area.
Through the cooperation between Government and related Stakeholders, education can be an effective means of prevention and raising public awareness on the importance of addressing the issue of violence against women in an all-around context, individual, social and institutional.