Aliansi Laki-laki Baru
A recent protest by the Aliansi Laki-laki Baru.Aliansi Laki-laki Baru Website

In many countries, sexual violence occurs with frightening regularity, and Indonesia is among them. Now, a strong campaign has been started by men in the country to put an end to violence against women. But it's a campaign with a difference because it's men who are now wearing the skirt.

The founder of Aliansi Laki-laki Baru (New Men's Alliance), Syaldi Sahude, 37, told Reuters that, "Many Indonesian men still think women have no rights to tell them this or that, that women are inferior to men. There were women's empowerment, legal aid and trauma programmes for survivors but the root cause of this is men."

Studies show that 85 percent of women in Indonesia have suffered violence in their relationships and still continue to stay with their partners. Aliansi Laki-laki Baru has done everything from hosting online campaigns to providing counselling for men and holding public rallies for the cause.

Indonesian Governor Fauzi Bowo in 2011 stated that a gangrape had occurred because of the choice of clothing the woman had made. A senior government official also stated that women should not wear short skirts, especially on public transport, if they don't want to be raped. As a result, many men took to wearing mini-skirts to protest against this statement.

Sahude told Reuters, "Too often it's about the way women dress or the way they behave. So we thought if it's really about mini-skirts, how about men wearing them?"

Indonesia reported 321,752 cases of domestic violence or sexual assault in 2015 as compared to 105,103 in 2010. Indonesia passed a Law on Domestic Violence in 2004 (UU 23/2004), which states, "Victims, most of whom are female, should receive protection from the state and/or community to avoid domestic violence or any threats of violence".