Date: March 22, 2023
On March 13th-16th, 2023 ACbit facilitated Participatory Action Research (PAR) for 21 women survivors of past conflict in Ermera Municipality.
PAR is a method used by ACbit since 2012 to collect the story of women survivors. PAR has 7 methods such as “Stone & Flower, Time Line, Community Mapping, Body Mapping, Livelihood Resources, Memory Box and Photo Story”. These methods can provide space and opportunities for women survivors to share the painful experiences that they experienced during the Indonesian occupation.
The experiences that they faced, over the years they keep it on their heart and that cause them to feel traumatized, scared and ashamed because there was no opportunity to speak out. Through PAR methodologies that conducted by ACbit, women survivors are happy and confident because they can talk about the different types of experiences that they faced in the past, and they feel that people can hear their voices.
Mariciana Martins, survivor of past conflict, said “I am happy and thankful to ACbit for engaging us in this activity to hear our suffering that we have faced in the past.”
This research shows that women survivors still live in poor situations and conditions, they suffered discrimination from their past experiences, also suffered discrimination in accessing social assistance programs, many of them suffered serious illness, and their children suffered discrimination from the family and community and as well as strong stigma still in their lives.
Aliança Henrique, a survivor of past conflict who also participated in the activity said “I asked to the government to pay attention for women victims of sexual violence from past conflict and our children who born out of rape”.
This activity was funded by Misereor, and as part of “Empowering marginalized women victims of conflict through improving access to services and community support” project.