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Indonesian victims of domestic violence struggle to access help during quarantine

“She would send WhatsApp messages to our hotline early in the morning or at noon, when her husband was asleep,” said Uli Pangaribuan, a lawyer representing a victim of domestic violence, about how her team was contacted last month.

“She was very discreet,” Uli from the Legal Aid Foundation of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice’s Jakarta office (LBH Apik Jakarta) told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

“She asked for our help but forbade us to contact her out of fear that her husband, who had been working from home for the past three months, would notice.

“She never called. She only texted, and she immediately deleted all the messages after she updated us.”

The woman told LBH APIK that her husband had physically and sexually abused her during quarantine but that she could not flee because she had nowhere to go and he watched her every movement.

“She said he had often beaten her in front of the children,” Uli said.

“It took almost a month to finally help get her and her children out of the house and place them into a safe house. She left the house quietly one morning while her husband was asleep,” Uli said.

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