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V Day action in Semarang calls for end to violence against women

Kompas - February 14, 2013

Puji Utami, Semarang Ė Scores of activists from the Legal Resources Center for Gender Justice and Human Rights (LRC-KJHAM) along with a number of Central Java women's organisations in the provincial capital of Semarang held a protest action to stop violence against women.

The action, which was held in conjunction with Valentine's Day, was held in the vicinity of the Simpanglima traffic circle and Jl. Pahlawan on Thursday February 14.

The activists, most of which were women, among which were several foreign nationals, sang and danced together. Similar actions were held throughout the world to commemorate "V Day 1 Billion Rising". As well as bringing banners with messages such as "stop violence", the protesters also handed out leaflets with similar messages.

Action coordinator Witi Muntari said that the activities were a creative action designed to convey a message, including among other things to raise awareness among all groups to abolish violence, particularly violence against women and children.

"This action is an expression of concern and to call attention to the consequence of the many women and children that have been victims of violence", she said.

Based on the LRC-KJHAM's data in Central Java, in 2012 there were 407 cases of violence against women. Of these cases, 407 (sic) of these were woman, 26 of which died. Three died after being raped, five as a result of domestic violence (KDRT), nine while working as migrant workers and eight died as a result of dating violence.

Through this action, said Muntari, there is also a message for the government to concretely uphold its commitment in efforts to prevent and abolish violence through public awareness raising. They also called on both the central and regional governments to provide and facilitate access for complaints, the handling of reports, victim recovery and clear mechanisms of liability for perpetrators.

"We hope that what we are doing on this day of love can arouse all parties to together abolish violence against women and children", she asserted.

The creative action, which was accompanied with music, was watched over by only a small number of police officers. The activists also invited pedestrians to take part in singing and dancing as a creative form of concern to convey a message of anti-violence.

[Kampanye Anti-kekerasan, Aktivis Menyanyi dan Menari - Kompas.com. Kamis, 14 Februari 2013. Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

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