Challenges for a Local Service Agency to Address Domestic Violence –A Case Study From Rural Indonesia

  •  Elli Hayati    
  •  Maria Emmelin    
  •  Malin Eriksson    


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.

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