Menggagas Tempat Aman Bagi Perempuan Kasus Sulawesi Selatan|
The field research that has been carried out at the first stage of the project showed that the rates of sexual violence were far higher than nonsexual cases. It was also found out that cases of violence against women were more common in urban than in rural areas. Research findings also indicate the little reaction and response of the community by either reporting or resolving cases involving violence against women through legal channels. Legal process as a means to settle cases involving violence was not popular; a fate suffered by other institutions such as NGOs and peoples’ organizations.
It was generally understood that the violence suffered by women is a consequence of the existence of iniquitous gender relationship in the society. Such a gender-biased relationship had its roots in the existence of a patriarchal culture, which influences the interpretation of gender issues. Such bias influences religious interpretations, as it legitimizes misogynic cultural practices.
Using the survey and in-depth interview methods with prominent figures in the society on various aspects which were thought to contribute to the issue of violence against women, produced research results that showed that the level of gender awareness ranged from low to average among the respondents. This problem of course poses a strong challenge to those interested in women issues since they have to come up with ways on how they will increase the awareness of such key figure about gender equality issues, which is a pre-condition for any efforts toward eliminating all forms of violence against women.
Law enforcement bodies have been castigated for inability to ensure justice for women who are unfortunate victims of violence. The low sensitivity among the law enforcement personnel in South Sulawesi is inseparable from the reaches of the law as well as law enforcement officers’ perspective on the issue. The view that women are human creatures which arouse sexual desire in men by their appearance and behavior is often used as aspects that ‘taper’ the severity of the crime committed. Such tendencies become implicit in questions posed by investigators to the victim. These tendencies underlie the high the reluctance of many victims of violence to take legal channels as a means to resolve cases of violence committed against them.
The increasing intensity of violence in South Sulawesi and the implementation of regional decentralization policy are opportune moments for strengthening the network that handles cases of violence committed against women. Members of NGO corps must harness cooperation with regional governments and other concerned agencies in handling case of violence against women. This should turn cases involving actions of violence against women into part and parcel of the society’s dynamics. In that way, it is hoped that the awareness of all section of society, especially the prominent figures in South Sulawesi will be aroused, so the issue of violence against women ceases to be regarded as a mere women problem, but as social problem affecting the society as a whole. This article will look into the ways in which social and cultural systems serve as opportunities or obstacles to actions and policies toward combating the problem of violence against women in public places.
Key word: Sexual Violence, Gender, Women.