Jakarta opens safe house for bullied children

In response to growing concern about bullying cases in the capital, the Jakarta Social Agency has inaugurated a house to protect child victims.

The agency's head, Masrokhan, said a recent case of bullying at the Thamrin City shopping mall in Central Jakarta was unlikely to be the last to occur in the city, prompting his agency to prepare a child protection house to give the victims a safe place to calm down.

"After the bullying incident at Thamrin City, we brought the victim to the child protection house run by the Social Affairs Ministry," Masrokhan said on Friday.

As the city not have any such facility of its own in the past, it used to coordinate with the ministry to handle bullying and other cases of child abuse.

"Now, we can handle cases of child abuse in Jakarta on our own. We have prepared some psychologists and social workers at our child protection house," Masrokhan added.

The agency also cooperates with the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) to help children at the house, which is called Chairun Nisa and located in Matraman, East Jakarta.

Nine boys and girls from several junior high schools in Central Jakarta were seen in disturbing footage bullying a female elementary school student in an empty corridor at the shopping centre in Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta, on July 14.

The perpetrators grabbed the victim's hair, punched and even kicked her.

The video ends with the victim being forced to kneel down before the bullies and kiss their hands. Some of the perpetrators cheer and take pictures of the ill-conduct.