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In East Java’s Jombang regency, domestic violence survivor Suciati helps other women who have suffered the same situation. She partners with Women’s Crisis Centre (WCC) Jombang to provide legal assistance, protection and other forms of community support. With a sharp increase in domestic violence cases in Indonesia during the pandemic years, community leaders like Suciati, and those in WCC Jombang, are pivotal in ensuring the safety of women in rural Indonesia.
It takes courage to share your story of abuse.
An abused housewife like Suciati (Suci) knows just what it takes to make her speak up. “I was under the impression that as husband and wife, we have to trust each other.”
Hers is a story of violence in her marriage, and the silence she kept while it was happening to her. Stigma follows the domestic violence survivor, and where Suci lives — in one of over 300 villages tucked away in the Jombang regency of East Java, Indonesia — awareness and support are sorely lacking, exacerbating the sense of shame and isolation for survivors.
Suci, however, refused to be silenced for long. With three children to provide for, she chose to leave her husband to build a better life.
She recalls sharing her story with other women in the village. It was incredibly difficult to do, but it proved essential to the community. Suci’s story encouraged other survivors to speak out, and that was when she knew she was not alone.
She found support and safety with other women going through similar experiences, which gave her the fortitude to move forward, start a bakery, and advocate for the rights of domestic violence survivors.
Domestic abuse and WCC Jombang
Domestic violence cases against women rose sharply in Indonesia through the pandemic years, depriving thousands more women and children of safety in what most of us consider a refuge: their homes.
Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) Jombang is the only grassroots organisation operating in Jombang to provide support to women experiencing domestic abuse and other types of gender-based violence in rural areas.
Since 1998, WCC Jombang has provided legal aid to women who suffer domestic abuse. In 2010, they started safe houses to extend their protection to survivors. They also run workshops and training, and as of March 2023, have empowered 88 women through their program, with more than a quarter of them becoming paralegals in their personal capacity to provide legal aid support to women in need..
Women like Suci are critical to the success of their programs in villages. She continues to work closely with WCC Jombang to protect women and children who have survived domestic violence so that their journey of recovery is alongside others who can support her, just like her own story.
About Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) Jombang
Women’s Crisis Center (WCC) Jombang is a grassroots non-profit organization in Indonesia’s East Java which assists women and children's victims of gender-based violence through counselling, legal consultation, and protection for women who have survived domestic violence.