In Bullying Facts

Bullying in Indonesia

If you think that there is a country that haven’t witnessed bullying acts before then you are totally wrong. Of course there are those countries with a low rate of bullying acts, and other countries with the highest rates, but if we looked on the map with a zoom out, we will see that at least one incident of bullying was seen in every country. In Asia, Indonesia is one of the countries that does worry about bullying especially if the scale moved up. Indonesia believes that the cyber bullying is in some way related to bullying in school, and if one of them increased, the other surely will. Learn more about Bullying in Indonesia.

School bullying in Indonesia:

Although in Indonesia the United Nations convention guarantees for every child the right to live freely, to grow up, take part and participate in any activity, and last to be protected against discrimination, but according to the teacher’s lack of knowledge, they don’t know about these four rights and therefore they don’t give the children all their rights and don’t protect them from any bullying acts. Bullying in Indonesia is one of the main reasons that drive students to commit suicide, and it was even one of the leading reasons for that. And according to some figures that were available at Sejiwa, a non-governmental anti-bullying organization, it was clear that about 30 children aged 6 to 15 years old committed or attempted suicide in the years 2001 and 2005. While last year Indonesia’s National Commission for child protection recorded 2,339 cases of physical, psychological and sexual violence against children, of which 300 were for the reason of bullying.

But although these cases dropped from 498 cases in 2009 and 525 cases in 2008 due to the awareness gained from the steps taken by the NGO’s and family members to tackle the issue with the teachers to take care to prevent any bullying acts, it is still rampant in the schools of Indonesia and especially those found in the rural areas of the country where teachers don’t have much access to the new technological era, and their lack of information.

The problem behind the existence of the bullying acts in Indonesian schools does not only fall on the teachers and their old ways that they adopt in schools, but also goes to the Indonesian television and what it delivers through its movies and broadcasts that are uncensored and show the high school students throwing each other with stones. All these facts affect children and the way they treat others, whether the teachers using violence in classrooms, or the television that brings members of the parliament shouting at each other, because the child will want to imitate what he sees going around him in his society.

Students at schools should understand well what bullying is, they should know that it is any unacceptable, unwanted, and aggressive behavior towards other people that does not only appear in the schools, but might also appear in workplaces, in the streets or even at homes. But in order for the act to be considered bullying, it should be an act that includes:

  • An imbalance of power, as the kids who use their power, like gaining access to other people’s information, having their own physical power that will surely harm the others. These power imbalances might change from one situation to the other, even if the same people are involved.
  • Repetition, it is an act that has been repeated more than once through different occasions, or has the intention to be repeated one day.

Bullying in schools comes in three different types, the verbal, the physical and the cyber bullying. The verbal bullying includes words that come out from the bully’s mouth whether it’s a name calling, teasing, inappropriate sexual comments, or even threatening, these words might even be written. The physical bullying is the kind of bullying that includes kicking and punching, spitting, tripping, and damaging the victim’s things. The cyber bullying is the kind of bullying that is considered the most dangerous because the person who might bully another in school might complete his violence acts through internet, which might be through sending e-mails, sharing some private information of the victim, sharing untrue information about them, or sending videos and audios that are harmful.

But there is still the type of bullying that happens most in schools, because mainly the bully’s aim to make fun out of his victim which is referred to as the social bullying, which include the embarrassments that happen in front of the other students, or telling people not to talk to that person for reasons that he came up with and might not have any true backgrounds and spreading some rumors about them.

Cyber bullying in Indonesia:

What might appear interesting to know is that Indonesia is one of the most socially networked, it has the third largest community of Face Book users around the world, and it even produces 15% of the world’s tweets. In which 63.1 million people used the mobile internet to go on social media websites in 2012, especially Twitter and Facebook, and around 43.6 million Indonesian people used Face book and 19.5 million used Twitter, and that was according to Telkom, one of the Telecommunication companies in Indonesia providing mobile internet services.  And that delivers us to some facts conducted by Indonesian surveys that states that Indonesian children are among the most cyber bullied ones, and it was even proved by 50% of the Indonesian adults reported of a child they knew of being cyber bullied before.

Cyber bullying that might appear through mobile phones or social media was reported to be known by 91% from children, in which a child, a group of children or a younger teen intentionally intimidates, threatens or embarrasses another child or a group of children. Not only that, but Indonesia was one of the highest places where people knew about children being targeted with 53%.

According to a research that was done among 40 different countries about cyber bullying, it was found that Indonesia took the third place after Japan and South Korea, which means that there should be programs to prevent cyber bullying, and they should be implemented immediately. This research also found that the cyber bullying in Indonesia is always apparent because Indonesians usually use single words in their bullying through Twitter, these word might be for example “kamu gila, perilaku kamu seperti anjing, bangsat” which means “you are crazy, you act like a dog, you rascal”.

Although the number of bullying acts in Indonesia is huge, but still the law enforcement is low, and that’s why people should learn the words used on social media in Indonesia as some kind of bullying other people. These bullying acts usually lead to people committing harassment and violence, especially if the bully knows how to convince the victim about meeting each other, and there have been a number of similar acts in Indonesia that influenced physical violence. These cases are located in Yogyakarta in which most of the victims are being females from high schools, in addition to Bantul, Gunung Kidul, Kulonprogo, Sleman, Klaten, Magelang, and Purworejo in Central Java have also similar cyber bullying phenomenon.

“Plan” to prevent bullying in Indonesia:

From the initiatives that were taken in Indonesia in order to help children stand against bullying, “Plan” was formed to help the Indonesian children understand and know their total rights and what they with their parents and governments should do to fulfill them since most of the children of these days don’t have a say about the decisions that take place through their lives. “Plan” stands next to the children to give them the self confidence they need and teach them the communication skills in order to have a positive attitude towards the community that they live in.

This initiative makes sure that the children have access to friendly public information in order to be more engaged as a citizen. “Plan” also works to strengthen public accountability mechanisms so that they support the participation of children and youth in local and national governance, as well as working with public officials and institutions to become more transparent and receptive to young people’s views.

Bullying stories in Indonesia:

Fajar Murdianto, a 12 year old student at Klumprit 1 Elementary School in Sukoharjo, Central Java, who died after being in a coma for two weeks, and the Dr said that before he died he was always suffering from nausea and headaches. Murdianto’s uncle said that he was always being beaten by his classmates, and when he used to come home with bruises, they usually asked him and he immediately tells them that he was beaten up in school. His uncle said that they only knew about the incident of Fajar being beaten since 5th grade when he was delivered to the hospital. His family took the incident to the police station rather than dealing with it in school, because as they said they wanted it to be a lesson for them all, parents and students.

Dina is considered a positive case that came out from the world of bullying who was affected by “Plan” initiative, Dina is now the Indonesia youth ambassador of Plan, being only 17 years old, she went to international platforms in Bali and New York. Dina who came from a small family in Jakarta, says that she was always an ambitious and passionate girl, and that was sometimes affecting her factor of caring, she didn’t care much about the people around her that she was even considered a bully herself without fully understanding what the word means. But when “Plan” brought its learn without fear anti-bullying campaign to her school, she realized that she has to change her way of thinking, and she has to care more about people rather than making them afraid of her

Workplace bullying in Indonesia:                                   

There are different types that workers are subjected to in the Indonesian garment factories, they might come in the form of:

  • A worker who is offered more working money or better hours just for returning a sexual favor.
  • A manager who pinches the bottom of a worker.
  • A rumor that goes about another worker in the factory.

And the list might continue to different things that happen to people on different occasions. Better Work which is a unique collaboration program between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation. Better Work is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Agency for International Development, the United States Department of Labor and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Better Work is focusing on putting an end to the workplace harassment, sexual harassment and bullying. But because most of the employers do not know what behavior is acceptable in the workplace and what behavior is considered unacceptable, it is believed that employers and employees should first understand the real meaning of what harassment is. According to a study that was done in the University of Indonesia, it was found that 85% of the Better Work beneficiaries were concerned about sexual harassment, while 80% said they were only concerned about verbal abuse, and 87% mentioned that they were concerned about physical abuse.

The Better Work program started in 2011 with the focus on the JABODETABEK area: Purwakarta, Subang and Karawang. Currently, there are 71 garment enterprises enrolled in the program and more than 100 factories which are aware of the existence of the program in Indonesia.

One case of workplace bullying happened when a maid was beaten up on the head for about six months until her head was swollen; Erwiana Sulistyaningsih was left feeling dizzy whenever she stood due to the damages that happened to her mind. It all started when Erwiana tried to steal some biscuits when she wanted to eat because she was hungry, and when her employer found out she was beaten hard and on a daily basis, and she was being forced to take her everyday meal which only consisted of three slices of bread and one bowl of rice to the bathroom rather than eating in the kitchen. Erwiana’s agency was taking its action towards her employer, and according to Erwiana’s will to go back to Hong Kong, her Dr said that she first need to gain back her healthy life.–en/index.htm

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