MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA – The Central Leadership of ‘Aisyiyah, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (KemenPPPA), organized a Training Program on Prevention and Handling of Sexual Violence for Healthcare Professionals on Saturday, October 21.
The program gathered 75 healthcare professionals from ‘Aisyiyah clinics and hospitals across various regions. Warsiti, Chair of the ‘Aisyiyah Council for Health, addressed the critical issue of victims of sexual violence struggling to articulate their experiences when seeking healthcare.
“Healthcare professionals should be able to identify that the patient’s condition may be the result of an act of violence. Therefore, healthcare providers should not merely discharge them but should initiate the referral process and more. This is what we will learn,” said Warsiti.
Thus, this training program focused on three goals. First, it was intended to equip healthcare workers with knowledge on assisting victims of sexual violence undergoing medical examinations in hospitals. Second, it aimed to enhance the collective understanding and perception of how to handle victims of sexual violence seeking healthcare services in a hospital. Third, it endeavored to improve the capability to provide support regarding legal evidence, ultimately contributing to a fair legal resolution for victims.
Furthermore, Eni Widiyanti, the Assistant Deputy for the Protection of Women’s Rights in Domestic and Vulnerable Situations at the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, expressed her appreciation for ‘Aisyiyah’s initiation of this crucial training. She emphasized the obligation of the state to protect women and children, guided by the principles of “no one left behind,” “no violence against women and girls,” and “zero tolerance for violence against women and children.” These principles are enshrined in the Indonesian Constitution, ensuring equal protection for all citizens, including women.
Alarming Prevalence of Sexual Violence
Regarding the prevalence of sexual violence against women and children in Indonesia, Eni highlighted that it remains alarmingly high. According to the National Survey on the Life Experiences of Women in 2021, one in four women has experienced violence during her lifetime.
“Approximately 26.1% of women aged 15-64, equivalent to 24.5 million women, have experienced violence during their lives,” said Eni.
The most recent annual data indicates that 5.2% or 4.9 million women experienced violence perpetrated by someone else within one year. However, in 2022, only 11,538 cases were reported, accounting for a mere 0.1% of actual incidents.
Eni mentioned this situation as highly concerning because very few individuals are willing and able to report the violence they experience. Moreover, she noted that some stakeholders view increased reports of violence as a disturbance, which presents an additional challenge.
Eni underlined the importance of these reports, as they can lead to the best possible response for both victims and perpetrators, serving as a deterrent for the perpetrators. She stressed that addressing violence of any kind, either physical, psychological, sexual, economic, or other forms, is vital and requires collective efforts and multi-stakeholder collaboration, including ‘Aisyiyah’s efforts earning significant appreciation for its role in the prevention and handling of sexual violence against women and children.