Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA) - The East Java provincial government has set up a call center service called Assistance Post for Women and Children (SAPA) to extend protection to and receive complaints from women and children.

The service can be accessed via WhatsApp or the phone number 0895348771070.

"(The public) can also access the SAPA hotline at 129," East Java Governor Khofifah Indar Parawansa informed on Wednesday.

According to the governor, the service has been provided to ease and accelerate the handling of women's and children's problems, especially in the East Java region.

The number of cases of violence against women and children in the province is currently quite high, she noted.

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Based on data from the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) Ministry, between January 1 and October 25, 2022, as many as 690 cases of violence against women and 895 cases of violence against children were reported across the districts/cities of East Java.

Governor Parawansa then highlighted child marriage or early marriage dispensation cases.

The dispensation of child marriage refers to the granting of permission for marriage by a court to a prospective couple who have not turned 19 years old, which is the minimum marriage age in Indonesia, according to a government website.

At least 17,151 applications for child marriage dispensation were granted in East Java in 2021. Meanwhile, 10,104 applications were granted between January and August, 2022.

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Meanwhile, between January and July 2022, 14,073 cases of talak, or divorce filed by men, were recorded in the province.

In 2021, 63,006 divorce petitions were filed by women (cerai gugat), and as of July 2022, their number reached 36,230.

"Then prevention should be the main thing to do. Prevention can be done starting from the smallest environment, namely school, family, and the community," Parawansa said.

The Task Force on Handling Women's and Children's Problems (PMPA) will hold social campaigns to educate and raise public awareness on the subject.

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Translator: Abdul H, Kenzu
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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