In Sleman District, Yogyakarta, staff from the District Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Office are often seen travelling around the area’s towns and villages alike in their ‘SIE MOLIN’ car. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SIE MOLIN - which stands for ‘Mobil Perlindungan Perempuan dan Anak’, or ‘Car for the Protection of Women and Children’ - activities focused on raising awareness about gender-based violence (GBV) and providing services for women and children victims of violence. The service aims to be proactive in reaching out to people before they are in urgent need of support, and to provide women and children who are experiencing violence an easier way of reporting it. SIE MOLIN services are comprehensive and contain promotive, preventive, rehabilitative and curative elements.
Since COVID-19 began spreading in Indonesia, the Sleman District Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Office decided to expand their SIE MOLIN activities to include information on COVID-19. Now, they educate Sleman residents on how to avoid catching the virus, how to support children’s education, and how to maintain family harmony while at home during the pandemic. It is also now easier for residents to access GBV support services because they can reach out under the guise of requesting COVID-19 information.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
Through SIE MOLIN, it is hoped that:
1. The public can easily access information and services on both GBV and COVID-19;
2. Family harmony is better supported during the pandemic;
3. Women and children experiencing GBV can more easily report the occurrence;
4. GBV support services are more quickly and easily provided to victims;
5. GBV services become more efficient and effective while still fulfilling the needs of the community;
6. Information on GBV and GBV support services become better known at the village and hamlet level, ensuring that services are accessed by those who need them.
Sleman District Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Office
It remains difficult for many women and children victims of GBV to report what happened to them. They are afraid of backlash from the perpetrator as well as from their community. This means that the Sleman District Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Office must continue to work hard to ensure victims’ safety when reporting GBV, including through the SIE MOLIN service.