In The Unknowing
It is in the unknowing that mistakes can happen, and with situations of domestic violence not knowing what to do can have devastating consequences.
Yesterday's post coincided with the publication by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of a Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women
.This report covers 15 sites and 10 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Peru, Namibia, Samoa, Serbia and Montenegro, Thailand and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Data from the report show that violence against women is widespread and demands a public health response.
Report findings document the prevalence of intimate partner violence and its association with women's physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Data is included on non-partner violence, sexual abuse during childhood and forced first sexual experience.
Information is also provided on women’s responses: Whom do women turn to and whom do they tell about the violence in their lives? Do they leave or fight back? Which services do they use and what response do they get?
The report concludes with 15 recommendations to strengthen national commitment and action on violence against women.
Whether the Indonesian government recognises the issue and responds effectively is an issue I hope others more qualified than I will address (and I will support).
Meanwhile I am posting slightly edited emails sent to me in response to yesterday's post as a matter of record and in the hope - an unfortunate choice of word - that the information will prove of value.a.
If there is any physical abuse/violence, the first thing to do, almost immediately, is take her to a hospital and make sure they do a thorough check up. Except for the obvious reasons, it will be very difficult to make any sort of case whatsoever without a certified proof of physical violence. As tragic as it sounds, pay the hospital if you will, make sure they make the 'visum
' as severe as possible.
Also, take photographic evidence of the abuse.b.
The police will refuse to do any immediate investigation unless:----
- there's an actual crime being committed i.e. they witness the assault and they can arrest him for 'probable cause' or----
- very severe injuries have been inflicted.
Since the law for domestic abuse is very murky, the police are generally reluctant to act unless one of those two conditions are fulfilled. To have a witness - an adult - to see the beating is probably useful, but those two conditions are really necessary.c.
The police will not move to an immediate arrest for less than a permanent physical damage - so if it's only bruises etc. then the most they can do is issue a summons. They will only move to arrest after the third summons - needed to satisfy the condition for a major assault.d.
As for custody of the children, it is almost impossible for the husband to legally sue for custody, especially if there is proof of violence. Simply disappearing with the kids should be sufficient as the wife tries to file for divorce.
The madness in this country (and elsewhere - J
) is that often, the woman refuses to divorce him. If she decides to go for divorce, make sure she is in a secure house with relatives and/or adult supervision in case he comes around. The RT/RW/ local police are usually cooperativ in such cases and there are no legal grounds to take the kids so long as the mother is present).Get a lawyer.
If you can't afford a lawyer, there are quite a few legal aid groups specializing on these things, KPA (Komisi Perlindungan Anak) will help and there are a few others.LBH APIK Jakarta
(Women's Legal Aid Institute
Jl. Raya Tengah No.16
Jakarta Timur 13540
Tel. 021-8779 7289
Fax.: 021 - 8779 3300
(More contact details would be welcome.)
- Ask her for what she wants, perhaps waiting a few days for her to make up her mind and consider all options (child support, etc.)
- If he is rich, you can choose to make the crazy bastard pay.
- If she wants a divorce, then secure the child(ren) somewhere and have a good lawyer deal with it
- If she wants a divorce but can't afford a lawyer, then follow the advice of the legal aid institute.
- Finally (and strictly
off the record) if she wants a divorce and a payback ........... these things can be arranged.