Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Women back in the grip of terror
Violence against women rising despite drop in official numbersYustina Rostiawati (extreme left) and Yuniyanti Chuzaifah (second from right) at the press conference in Jakarta
- Konradus Epa, Jakarta
- March 10, 2011
An annual report issued by the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) says the number of reported cases of violence against women in Indonesia declined in 2010. At the same time, however, feelings of insecurity among women grew.
In its press release issued March 8 in Jakarta, the commission reported that 384 institutions dealt with 105,103 cases of violence against women last year. This number was smaller than the 2009‚Äôs data, which recorded 143,586 cases.
‚ÄúThis situation cannot be interpreted as a decline of the number and intensity of violence against women. On the other hand, Komnas Perempuan observes that the year 2010 seems to be a turning point for women. They go back to the grip of terror,‚ÄĚ said Yustina Rostiawati, the commission‚Äôs senior official.
The Catholic laywoman also reminded that the data was only the tip of an iceberg. The victims‚Äô difficulty in getting support from relatives, a deep feeling of shame or trauma and a limited access to available institutions dealing with such cases were the reasons why many more women did not report their cases.
Worse, she continued, 55 institutions involved in drafting the 2009 report on violence against women did not submit their data last year because of various reasons including an internal recording system.
Such a situation was implied in the report of the number of cases of violence against women, she said.
‚ÄúThe decline of the number of violence against women dealt with in 2010 can also indicate the decline of capacity of available institutions dealing with such cases, which are run by the state,‚ÄĚ she maintained.
Saying that the lack of the state‚Äôs capacity in helping women becoming victims of violence is very alarming, she warned: ‚ÄúWith difficult financial situation and strong culture of violence among the society, women will be the most vulnerable targets of violence.‚ÄĚ
Meanwhile, the commission‚Äôs head Yuniyanti Chuzaifah acknowledged that the number of reported cases of violence against women declined. ‚ÄúBut it does not mean that violence in the society also declines. Access to justice is still expensive,‚ÄĚ she asserted.