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Jakarta Post

One year after tsunami: Palu temporary houses pose higher risk of sexual violence

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya
    Gemma Holliani Cahya

    The Jakarta Post

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Palu   /   Thu, October 3, 2019   /  01:15 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Rubble covers what was once a housing area in Balaroa district of Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Aug. 20, 2018. Activists say that women and children are at increased risk of sexual violence in disaster-affected areas.(JP/Ruslan Sangadji)

Laras (not her real name) sat on a wooden chair on the small front porch of her temporary housing unit in Petobo village, Central Sulawesi. It is breezy out on the porch, but during the day, the heat inside the plywood house could become unbearable, especially for someone who is nine months pregnant, like Laras. She is only 17. Laras married her 29-year-old boyfriend in December, just three months after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck Central Sulawesi on Sept. 28. She held her wedding after her mother died of an illness in October. Laras was living with just her mother in Palu. Her father was away in Kalimantan, and her sister was with her own family in Palu. The earthquake destroyed her mother’s house and health. “If the earthquake had not happened, I don't think I would...