Global Fund for Women grantee partner, Rifka Annisa, a domestic violence shelter in Indonesia supported by Johnson & Johnson, works to empower women and communities to eliminate gender-based violence. Rifka Annisa works at all levels, providing counseling to male perpetrators, educating the community and training groups of women to address gender-based violence locally, and advocating for new laws and pushing for legal enforcement.
Rini Iswandari leads the of Forum for Handling Victims of Violence in Bleberan Village, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta. Johnson & Johnson partners with the Global Fund for Women to support 5 grassroots organizations like Rifka Annisa in Indonesia and the Philippines to provide services to victims of gender-based violence.
This is the last of 3 blog posts spotlighting how collective, community-oriented action is needed to end violence against women around the world.
How are you working to end violence against women or care for survivors of violence in your community? What do your programs to end violence against women in your community look like?
Every human has the same right to be safe and protected. In my role, I cooperate with members of the community, working together with the government in the village, village institutions, and others to provide information and raise awareness that violent acts are against the law and generate consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator. Life in society and in the family will be better if all people are caring, loving, and respectful to each other.
The program that I currently conduct in the community promotes the prevention of violence against women and children by organizing socialization in the village in various themes or issues which relate to violence against woman (VAW). We also coordinate with Children Village’s Forum at Bleberan Village, working with children so they have a better understanding of VAW. We also coordinate with the police department in the GunungKidul district, the Government Institution of Community, Women, and Family Planning Empowerment; Rifka Annisa; and the other institutions.
What progress have you seen in your community toward ending violence against women?
I have seen that many players, including the government of the village, religious figures and civil society figures, are now becoming more aware that we need to work on raising awareness in order to eliminate the number of cases of violence in Bleberan Village. One factor that has made a difference is awareness of the legal consequences of perpetrating acts of violence. Fear of legal consequences has played a major role in decreasing the number of cases of violence in Bleberan Village.
We also see progress in other ways. Community members are now aware that the Forum for Handling Victims of Violence can help them if they, or another member of the community, becomes a victim of violence.
Who else in your community is part of the solution to end gender-based violence?
We cannot stand and work alone. Other institutions, such as the government in the village, the government in the district (the Government Institution of Community, Women, and Family Planning Empowerment), the police department in Gunungkidul district, Rifka Annisa, and other institutions have been important partners in reducing violence against women and girls. All contribute in an attempt both to prevent violence and to handle the cases that do happen.
Throughout the week of November 21 and in the lead up to the actual day, follow @JNJGlobalHealth as we share the importance of collective action within communities to drive forward action to eliminate violence against women.