As young people, students are expected to be able to facilitate change through their concern for the surrounding phenomenon. The phenomenon that is currently hot and is gaining a lot of attention is the rampant act of sexual harassment in the community. This immoral act often leaves social scars, especially for victims who are not well-protected, and even inclined to blame and humiliate.
Vikrama 2018 is a form of Resolution of the Student Presidency of Parahyangan Catholic University (LKM Unpar) which highlights sexual harassment, especially in Indonesian society. The event, held at Gedung Indonesia Menggugat coinciding with Kartini Day, on April 21, 2018, was filled with interesting activities that were attended by various circles of society. Representation among the mothers includes members of the Family Welfare Development (PKK) in Bandung, youth activists, and representatives, as well as university students, especially from Unpar.
“We provide solutions from us as students to the phenomenon that is currently hot or that has existed but has not yet been finished,” said Laurensius Dextraldi, the chief executive of the event. The Vikrama sobriquet, he added, is a form of encouragement for all elements of society to dare to fight various forms of sexual abuse.
Independently protect ourselves
The first session of Vikrama activities is filled with discussions about self-protection from sexual harassment presented by various sources. The self-defense class was divided into three parts. Aldi explained that in the first part, the participants were invited to make simple self-defense equipment from materials and equipment around us. “as for the second session, it deals with how to handle the psychological condition of the victims of sexual harassment,” he said. Added tips to conduct legal action related to the act of sexual harassment. Vikrama’s first session concludes with self-defense exercises against crime, especially from the perpetrators of sexual harassment.
The session was hosted by several speakers, namely Narda Virelia (the Finalist of Miss Indonesia 2018 from West Sumatra), Anita Dhewy (the Chief Editor of Women Journal), and representatives from Women Self Defense of Kopo Ryu (WSDK) Indonesia.
Phenomena in film and discussion
The second session began with a short film show titled ‘Memoria’. Kamila Andini’s film reveals the feelings of unspeakable trauma that was in survivors of sexual violence during the East Timor Conflict. Although it did not tell the stories in the daily framework of Indonesian women, in fact, the essence of the story strongly reflects the condition of women today in Indonesia: What is the meaning of independence for a woman. The film was enjoyed and its meaning was internalized by the audience.
This film leads the audience to the highlight of the last event, which was a discussion activity on sexual harassment. The discussion invited Kania Mamonto, a female activist who is also an alumna of Unpar, to share her thoughts. One of which was to see sexual harassment not only in terms of physical violence, such as rape but also including verbal and psychological abuse. The victim is not always a young woman but may come from other circles, such as children and men.
For the Resolution committee, preventing sexual harassment is the same as changing the public perception of sexual harassment. “It’s a matter of perception and paradigm,” Aldi said. It is the duty of the students to build awareness to the community to engage the victims of sexual abuse, without the present victim-blaming. “The more they feel safe to report, the more cases can be perpetuated,” he explained. Through Vikrama, it is expected to create a safe environment and community for the survivors and freedom from sexual harassment.