Violence against kids rampant at home

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Children participate in a rally to spread awareness on the need to prevent violence against children. TEMPO/The Jakarta Post

Many children have experienced physical or psychological abuse at home during the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Child Protection Agency (KPAI).

During the 30th anniversary of the Indonesian government’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, KPAI chairman Susanto said the survey had shed light on the state of child protection in the country.

“We conducted the survey in all 34 provinces where cases were found, the percentage of which, I think, should become something for us to reflect on,” he said at a virtual event on November 19 as quoted by kompas.com.

The national survey was conducted online with a sample size of 25,164 child respondents who were asked to fill out a questionnaire distributed through social media.

The survey found that some Indonesian children had experienced physical violence, with three per cent saying they had been slapped, while four per cent had been locked up, four per cent had been kicked, six per cent had been pushed, nine per cent had their ears pulled, 10 per cent had been beaten and 23 per cent had been pinched.

In addition, some children have experienced psychological abuse. Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they had been scolded, 34 per cent had been being compared to other children and 23 per cent had been yelled at.

Moreover, 13 per cent of the children said they had been glared at, five per cent had been insulted, four per cent had been threatened, four per cent had been humiliated, three per cent had been bullied and two per cent had been kicked out of the house.

“So of course it is not a surprise that a number of reports said there were cases of children being beaten to death,” said Susanto.

Susanto explained that in many of these cases there were no specific trigger factors that led to the violence, apart from the stress caused by the pandemic.

“In this Covid-19 situation, caregivers have had many problems. On one hand, they have to think about their financial situation. On the other hand, they have to accompany the children during online studies,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s easy, especially when it comes to online learning, where it is not only a matter of [technological competence] but also a matter of the capacity for caregivers to assist the children.”

Ineptitude and mental unpreparedness among parents, guardians and caregivers in providing educational assistance were among the basic triggers for violence against children, Susanto added.

He called on community members to reflect on their behaviour to prevent such violence from recurring.

The Jakarta Post/ Asia News Network