20 Children Experiencing Violence in Orphanages, Minister of Social Affairs Instructs Her Staff to Respond Quickly and Provide Protection
PALEMBANG (27 February 2023) - The Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) made a quick response to 20 children in orphanages for orphans and vulnerable children who experienced physical violence. On the direction of the Minister of Social Affairs Tri Rismaharini, the team evacuated the children and accommodated them at the Budi Perkasa Center in Palembang.
"Under the direction of the Minister, 18 children have received protection and assistance at the Budi Perkasa Center in Palembang. Meanwhile, the other two children who are twins returned to the care of their parents. As for the legal process against the perpetrators, investigators are currently underway at the Palembang Police," said the Head of the Budi Perkasa Center in Palembang Wahyu Dewanto (27/02).
This was a response to media reports which revealed violence against 18 children in an orphanage by its administrator. Based on this information, the Budi Perkasa Center team moved quickly to coordinate with related parties in Ilir Timur District, Palembang City.
Orphanages for orphans and vulnerable children are administered by an individual named, H (40) who is also a caretaker. "Violence was allegedly perpetrated by H. One of the reasons for the violence was D, a disabled child who defecated in his pants and then he immediately prayed. This sparked H's anger," said Wahyu.
18 out of 20 victims have been evacuated to the Budi Perkasa Center. There are 2 children aged 5.5 years (twins) who do not live in an orphanage but live with their parents. The age of the children varied from 5.5 years to 18 years.
"Children at the orphanage experience beatings and verbal abuse, including D children with disabilities. The violence is suspected to have been triggered by economic pressure and illness in the last year in the form of anxiety disorders (under investigation). H becomes quick-tempered," said Wahyu.
As for the assessment, the foster children admitted that physical violence was most often experienced by girls. "There are various forms of violence namely verbal violence in the form of insults. The children also experienced beatings and banging against walls," he said.
To deal with trauma, Budi Perkasa Center provides psychological recovery services and post-event trauma. "The Center officers have provided psychological recovery in the form of trauma healing and hypnotherapy," he said.
Furthermore, the Budi Perkasa Center coordinated with the police and the Palembang City Social Service regarding the development of cases and the operational status of the orphanage. "We also ensure that the children continue to go to school. They were picked up and dropped off by the car of Budi Perkasa Center," said Wahyu.
MoSA also conducted an assessment of the victim's family regarding the socio-economic conditions for their children ‘s future.
The orphanage was established in 2009. The source of the operational costs comes from the help of non-permanent donors and also from H's business of selling groceries at the orphanage.
In terms of facilities, the availability of rooms in the orphanage for foster children is 4 rooms. Namely 2 female rooms for 5 people/room and 2 male rooms for 4 people/room.
Public Relations Bureau
Ministry of Social Affairs