Oration on Child Protection by the Head of Sambau Village Children Forum

Assalamualaikum Wr wb. Peace be upon you.

Hello everyone, let me introduce myself. My name is Nurhaliza Imelda, Chairman of the Sambau Village Children Forum. Every day, I go to school at SMAN 15 Batam City. As a girl, I often hear the news about sexual violence against minors. I hear about this almost every day. When I heard the news, I was terrified. Moreover, sexual violence can happen anywhere, whether in public places, religious institutions, schools or even at home. The perpetrators must be the people who are close to the victim, such as father, uncle, teacher, and neighbors. I didn’t expect that adults who were supposed to protect the children would become perpetrators of violence. And I couldn’t believe that school and home turned out to be unsafe places for children.

My friends, no one deserves to be sexually assaulted. This is a horrendous tragedy. Unfortunately, sexual violence keep occurs, especially against girls. Most victims don’t fight back out of fear. When the victims tell their stories, they are often distrusted and blamed. Not only that but the victim will also be shunned by their friends who feel ashamed to be friends with them. In contrast, they want to be protected and supported by their environment, not even ignored. We should not avoid the victim. We know the situation. We know what happened to them. Family and school should be the source of encouragement for them, the first and safest place for victims to articulate what happened to them. Schools should not allow girls, who are victims, to get bullied by their schoolmates. Schools are also not allowed to expel their students who are victims because it is the place of hope for children to change for a better future. Children who are the victims of sexual violence own the same rights and opportunities to develop themselves and become what they want to be. Please don’t leave them alone.

Please don’t assume that bad incidents that happen to us are our fault, whether it’s because of the way we dress, make friends, drive, work, and so on. Perpetrators perceive children as the weak so that children are easily deceived, flirted, persuaded, and threatened. It is the perpetrators who have the problem, and it’s a coincidence that they happen to be the victims. Every human being, both men and women, adults and children, should not be victims and perpetrators of violence. Every human being has the right to live well and to be treated fairly and equally. We can prevent violence against children by prioritizing a sense of humanity, togetherness, and respecting children’s civil rights. Continuously socialize the legal instruments. Let’s together prevent violence against children because all children own the same right to live, grow and develop, get an education, and be protected.

Now my friends, violence against the children is an act that is contrary to the principles of humanity as championed by Kartini. Just as Kartini fought for Indonesian women, we can also fight for children rights without discrimination, including children who are the victims of violence. They also deserve to be heard and trusted. This is where the Children Forum, as a forum for children’s participation, plays a role in always supporting children who are victims of violence so that they can be heard and trusted and voicing children’s rights to the community and government. Children’s voices deserve to be heard, and it is time for us to be involved in decisions that have an impact on children’s lives now and in the future.

For this moment in commemoration of Kartini’s day, it is important to always fight for equality without violence. Start from me, you, and all of us. Let’s help each other. Kartini has started it, me and you, let’s carry on the fight!

HAPPY KARTINI DAY.

Greetings, Indonesian children!

(The oration delivered online at the Campaign and Declaration of the Protection of Children and Women in Nongsa District on April 21, 2021)

Orator: Nurhaliza Inelda (17 tahun)
Editor: Linayanti
Proofreader: Mellysa Anastasya
Translator: Hasna Fatina