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Challenges for a local service agency to address domestic violence: a case study from rural indonesia
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0108-4237
2014 (English)In: Global Journal of Health Science, ISSN 1916-9736, E-ISSN 1916-9744, Vol. 6, no 6, 214-225 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since the launch of a Zero Tolerance Policy in Indonesia, several policies to address domestic violence have been enacted. The obligation of local governments to establish service units for women survivors of domestic violence is one of them. Since domestic violence is a sensitive and complex issue in Indonesia it is important to understand how governmentally regulated services function in practice. This case study aimed to explore challenges faced by a local service agency in managing service provision for women survivors of domestic violence in rural Indonesia. Data from one focus group discussion (12 participants), four individual interviews, six short narratives, two days of participant observation, as well as archive reviews were collected. All data were analyzed using Grounded Theory Situational Analysis. The major challenge faced by the local agency was the low priority that was given them by the local authorities, mirrored also in low involvement by the assigned volunteers in the daily service. The study also identified a gap between the socio-cultural arena and the law & policy arena that needs to be bridged to avoid that the two arenas address domestic violence in a contradictory way. Budget allocation to support the sustainability of the daily routines of service agencies has to be given priority. There is also a need for careful considerations regarding the composition of personnel involved within daily management of service agencies addressing domestic violence. To bridge the gap between the legal systems and traditional cultural values, culturally adjusted alternative justice systems could be developed to increase women's access to legal support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 6, no 6, 214-225 p.
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95818DOI: 10.5539/gjhs.v6n6p214PubMedID: 25363105OAI: diva2:761143

Originally included in thesis in submitted form.

Available from: 2014-11-05 Created: 2014-11-05 Last updated: 2015-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Domestic violence against women in rural Indonesia: searching for multilevel prevention
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Domestic violence against women in rural Indonesia: searching for multilevel prevention
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Domestic violence has been recognized globally as one of the most important Public Health concerns with severe negative health consequences for the exposed women. Through UN bodies several international milestones have successfully pushed attention towards worldwide improvements in the life situations of women. Since the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, significant positive changes towards equality between men and women in Indonesia have been initiated, one being the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act in 2004. However, there is still a need to improve the knowledge about what preventive measures that are feasible and work in different settings. This thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of appropriate prevention strategies against domestic violence in rural Indonesia by exploring: i) risk factors for domestic violence; ii) women’s ways of coping with exposure to violence; iii) men’s views on masculinity and violence within marriage; and iv) challenges faced by local service agency in managing services for women survivors of domestic violence.

Methods: Data from a cross sectional population based study was used to analyze risk factors for physical and sexual abuse among a cohort of pregnant women in Purworejo district. Further, a qualitative phenomenological interview study was conducted to reveal the dynamics of coping among women survivors of domestic violence in the same district. A Grounded Theory study based on focus group discussions with men formed the basis for a situational analysis of the linkage between masculinity and the use of violence within marriage. Finally, a qualitative case study was performed to explore the management practices of a local service agency in the district, to understand the challenges faced in their efforts to address domestic violence.

Results: Sexual violence was associated with husbands’ demographic characteristics (age and low educated) and women’s economic independence. Exposure to physical violence among women was strongly associated with husbands’ personal characteristics. The attitudes and norms expressed by women confirmed unequal gender relationships. Experiencing violence led women to using an elastic band coping strategy, moving between actively opposing the violence and surrendering or tolerating the situation. The national gender equality policies were shown to have played a crucial role in transforming gender power relations among men and women (the gender order) in the Indonesian society. Three different positions of masculinity were identified, the traditionalist, the egalitarian, and the progressive, with different beliefs about men’s role within marriage and with various levels of accepting the use of violence. Long term structural preventive efforts and individual interventions targeted to the conflicting couples were preferred over reporting the abuser to the authorities. The major challenges faced by the local service agency were the low priority given by the authorities, mirrored also in low involvement in the daily service by the assigned volunteers. The local agency also stammered in translating the current law and policies into a society that held on to traditional and religious norms regulating the relationships between men and women.

Conclusion: Overall, this thesis illustrates that sociocultural traditions and religious teaching still viscously influence people’s attitudes and beliefs about the use of violence within relationships. Domestic violence has not been accepted as a criminal act but is still to a large extent seen as a private family affair. Culturally sensitive programs aimed to bridging the gap between the current laws and policies and the socio-cultural traditions need to be further developed to protect women from domestic violence and increase gender equity in the Indonesian setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2013. 71 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1617
domestic violence, prevention, rural Java, Indonesia
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-83181 (URN)978-91-7459-772-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-06, Sal 135, By 9A, Allmänmedicin, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-11-22 Created: 2013-11-20 Last updated: 2015-05-09Bibliographically approved

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