MaxFM WAINGAPU – The public is yet again shocked by a video viral on social media showing several men kidnapped a young woman. The video was widely spread through WhatsApp groups and gained varying responses.
In the video, a young woman was standing at a crossroads somewhere in the western part of Sumba. Moments later, some men arrived and captured the girl. She was then carried by force and put into a pickup vehicle parked not far away. The men were yelling ‘kayaka,’ a yodel practiced in Sumba to show excitement and victory.
After succeeding in taking the girl in the car, the driver and entourages left the location.
Responding to the incident, Rev. Aprisa Taranau admitted that she was shocked upon seeing the video. Aprisa, who is also the head of the local church council of GKS Jemaat Praikauki, thought that the custom was no longer in practice.
In local Sumba, ‘kawin tangkap’ or bride kidnapping is a practice done by a man, capturing (usually by force) a woman he wishes to marry. Frequently, the woman does not have any acknowledgment that she is about to be abducted.
Rev. Aprisa feels sorry that the incident still occurs today. She said that it is devastating not only for her but also for her fellow women human rights defenders.
Further, Rev. Aprisa mentioned that she and her fellow women human rights defenders have been continuously building public awareness of the issue since 2009.
“When I saw the video, I could not give an immediate response as I usually did. [Because] I was contemplating, [asking myself] whether what we’ve done so far do not have any impacts [to educate] public”, Aprisa said.
According to Aprisa, any woman who goes on a marriage through ‘kawin tangkap’ or was once a victim of this practice experiences trauma and feels worthless.
It is crucial to synergize and build public awareness that all children, boys, and girls, are invaluable.
For that reason, all boys must appreciate girls as they respect their mothers and sisters and are determined not to be involved in the practice of bride kidnapping.
Aprisa truly hopes that the incident of bride kidnapping that recently occurred in the Regency of Southwestern Sumba will be the last. She wishes that women in Sumba could make their own choices in building a marriage relationship with a man they sincerely love.
“As a woman and as the leader of GKS Praikauki, [I] hope this is the last one and that there will be no woman experience a trauma because of ‘kawin tangkap,’ she said.
When asked whether ‘kawin tangkap’ is part of the culture in Sumba, Rev. Aprisa declined to share her thoughts because the topic can be an endless discussion.
“There will be varied opinions on whether it [kawin tangkap] is part of the culture in Sumba or not, and we will need a long discussion to explain this,” Aprisa suggested. (TIM). [Translator : Itha Priyastiti]