Discussing violence against women: “Single mothers are still too often stigmatized.”

When we think of violence against women, we often think of physical abuse or mistreatment. But it is much less known that financial dependence, unequal opportunities and social isolation are also types of violence. So it is not surprising that Papuan women do not always know that they are victims of violence.

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Violence against women is a deeply rooted issue in Papuan culture. Even if there is already attention to it, the emphasis is still too often on incidents rather than prevention. But it is better to prevent than to cure. That is why we are happy with organizations such as Pujaprema that speak with women about their boundaries, rights and opportunities. And also with young people, because violent situations already occur in the dating period.

In February and March of this year, Pujaprema broadcasted advertisements on the radio about various types of violence. From everyday situations such as the division of tasks in the household to young people who felt forced into unwanted sexual contact.

In the next couple of months, with financial support from Hapin, Pujaprema will organize various socialization groups for (young) women. Hapin consultants Irma and Nova recently visited one of these groups. Irma: “For religious and traditional reasons, single mothers in Papua are often being judged by society. So it’s a status that you do not easily choose for. This forms a barrier for victims of violence to speak out. Women are afraid of being left alone or not being able to take care of their children. Also, the legal system in Papua is not always impartial. Some assessors are quick to side with the man in a legal process. Fortunately, various organizations in Papua are committed to help victims of violence.”

There is still a long way to go, to change the social discourse on violence and equal rights. Let alone discuss the stigma that is being attached to single parents. But the socialization groups of Pujaprema are a step in the right direction.

Would you like to help? Please donate to IBANNL37RABO0444072470 with reference “Gender-based violence” or donate online.

Year: 2021

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