Lecturers of UMY Initiate Anti-Divorce Movement to Alleviate High Divorce and Early Marriage Rates

A marriage rate in Sleman is relatively high. In 2017, there were 89 compensations of early-aged marriage cases in Local Religious Court (PA). In 2015 and 2016, the number even hit more than 100 cases. Departing from the phenomenon, two lecturers of Communication Science of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) conducted a community service program in Umbulharjo, Cangkringan, Sleman. For three months, Dr. Suciati, S.Sos., M.Si and Nur Sofyan, S.I.Kom., M.I.Kom provided counseling, assistance, and socialization. The program began since Saturday, February 23, 2019.

On Tuesday (26/2), Suciati stated, “The number of early-aged marriage cases seem to increase day by day. Even some people do not recommend the practice because this can actually harm children. Children who get married at their early age will likely get bad impacts such as school dropouts. Indeed, their reproduction systems are still unstable to be fertilized. An early-aged marriage can lead to divorcement because children are mentally unprepared to face household problems. The number of divorces in Indonesia is also undeniably high. Within a year, there were over four hundred cases and most of them happen to early-aged couples.”

Children who get engaged in the practice of early-aged marriage are mostly junior to senior high school students. Factors of early-aged marriage are basically economic problems, lack of education, unwed pregnancy, and customs (culture to matchmaking).

Suci and Sofyan provided education to early-aged marriage couples, parents, and teenagers. “We try to give enlightenment about regulations in marriage and restriction in early-aged marriages. We urge protracted couples to stick to the commitment so that they will be spared from divorcement cases. We will also give posters, which contain positive messages of marriage, to be stuck on the couples’ houses,” informed Suciati.

Additionally, the program bringing a theme of Komunikasi Keluarga SAMAWA dan Gerakan Anti Perceraian (SAMAWA Family Communication and Anti-Divorce Movement) was supported by Office of Research, Publication, and Community Service of UMY. The program also invited Family Welfare Movement (PKK) of Umbulharjo. Suci hoped that the program would continuously run and could bring positive impacts to alleviate early-aged marriage and divorcement rates.

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