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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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    Let’s defend our friends: Moral movement against sexual violence in higher education institutions in Indonesia

    Sexual violence in higher education institutions in Indonesia still happens very often. The perpetrators are lecturers and students themselves, and this is very much related to power relation imbalance and gender inequality. As a result, the female students, as the parties with the most inferior position so far in the patrilineal culture-oriented community, can only be silent and do nothing. This situation really puts them in a vulnerable position as the victims of sexual violence.

    The existing data reveal that the number of reports filed to the Task Force of PPKS (Prevention and Handling of Sexual Violence) is very few. This means, the victims feel reluctant to report the incidents they have experienced.

    So far what has become the problem is that many victims of sexual violence have experienced bad incidents without any precaution from their surrounding environment, despite the fact that sexual violence is an incident that can be prevented. Every student on campus will have friends or classmates having interaction with one another in many activities. Therefore, instead of waiting for the sexual violence victims to appear, early prevention or precaution must be carried out by those present in the area of incidents.

    The Tim Fortune (Fortune Team) from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, the Department of Social Anthropology, with the funding assistance from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Research, and the support of Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) has made an important breakthrough. The Tim Fortune has designed a training for student volunteers to play a role as the “interceptors” of sexual violence incidents. The students will be trained to be active and take initiatives when someone is experiencing sexual violence.

    To ease the implementation of the prevention principles, Tim Fortune consisting of David Dodi Lumbantobing, Paula Hutriany Sigiro, Novi Fitriani Br Nazara, and Cecilia Angela Sitanggang has created a pictured comic. The comic entitled “Ayo Bela Teman Kita” (Let’s Defend Our Friends) uses the figures of themselves, also as students, who seem to have conversations to encourage other students to participate in preventing sexual violence occurring in higher education institutions.

    The advisor of Tim Fortune, Dr. Fotarisman Zaluchu, stated that Tim Fortune has created amazing works of art. “The comic has been tried out in classes, and students become very interested in it. Every time the comic is tried out, students become willing to be volunteers and have stated their willingness by signing a form of commitment.”

    Tim Fortune has asked students to accompany their friends or classmates that are requested to have discussion by someone including by their own lecturer. Besides that, students have to be courageous to reprimand someone who says something indecent and looks inappropriately at a girl who is their friend or classmate. Moreover, the most important thing is that students are asked to fight someone who would like to do actions having the tendency toward sexual violence. This program will be continued to train more and more students in a wider range.