HAPSARI Continues to Provide Case Handling Services in the Midst of the Pandemic

26 August 2020
Author: Amron Hamdi

Women have become more vulnerable to violence, especially domestic violence, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPA) notes that between 2 March to 25 April 2020, there were 275 cases of violence against women reported.

HAPSARI, one of MAMPUs Partners in North Sumatra that is part of the Service Providers Forum (FPL), has also received increasing numbers of reports of violence against women since the pandemic began. From January to December 2019, HAPSARI handled 73 case of violence; however, during the pandemic, from January to June 2020 HAPSARI has already handled 32 cases and each day this number continues to rise.

Many organisations have pivoted to provide counselling services online. However, HAPSARI still provides services in person because of a number of limitations

“We provide online services, but we also first analyse the type of the case and the condition of the victim. Not all victims of violence that we help can access online services. There are limitations with internet connections which mean that we need to continue to provide face-to-face services for these victims,” said Sri Rahayu, part of HAPSARI’s anti-violence advocacy team.

“In addition, by meeting face-to-face and giving them a hug, we can provide a sense of security, comfort and confidence to the victim, so they know they are not alone in facing their problems,” Ayu continued.

To ensure case handling progresses smoothly, HAPSARI discusses protocols for handling cases of violence with the local village government. This was done recently during a discussion with the Head of Denai Kuala Village, Pantai Labu, Deli Serdang.

The case handling protocol prepared by HAPSARI is: first, the victim comes directly to the HAPSARI center and staff will investigate information related to the reported case. Then HAPSARI coordinates with the village government, police and the local neighborhood head while continuing to provide support to the victim until the case is resolved. HAPSARI also facilitates advanced services such as law enforcement involvement, psychological services and district court reports.

The HAPSARI team is always ready to provide services while observing social distancing, wearing masks and observing health protocols.