Switzy Sabandar, Jakarta – The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) is disappointed that the Draft Law on Sexual Violence Crimes (RUU TPKS, formally the RUU PKS) will not be taken to the final House of Representatives (DPR) plenary meeting for 2021, after which the House will go into recess until next year.
Komnas Perempuan believes that the ordinary Indonesian people, especially the victims of sexual violence, their families and lawyers, have long been waiting for the law to be completed.
According to Komnas Perempuan Chairperson Andy Yentriyani, this legal umbrella is important because of the high level of sexual violence recorded between 2001 and 2011. Over a period of 20 years, 25 percent of cases of violence against women were sexual violence.
"Every single day, at least 35 women become victims of sexual violence. Meaning, every two hours there are three women who become victims of sexual violence", she said in a press release on Friday December 17.
According to Komnas Perempuan's records, during the time they have waited for the draft law to be enacted (2012-2020), there have been 45,069 reports of sexual violence.
"Aside from being looked at in terms of total numbers, the sexual violence emergency can also be seen from the widespread reporting of sexual violence in the mass media", said Yentriyani.
The DPR for the period 2014-2019 once discussed the draft law with the government but failed to agree on a single point in the RUU PKS problem inventory list (DIM).
As a consequence, the RUU PKS was not included as a carryover draft law and had to start again from scratch. One of the factors was that the interests and rights of the victims were not placed as a central issue in the deliberations.
Misperceptions, misconceptions and preconceptions meanwhile, over the substance of the RUU PKS at the time spread among various social groups and social media and negatively influenced the DPR's working committee deliberations.
"This situation has continued with regard to the draft law until now, which has been renamed the Draft Law on Sexual Violence Crimes (RUU TPKS). A situation which undermines efforts to create a legal umbrella for victims of sexual violence", she said.
In a statement, the Komnas Perempuan has declared four points related to the latest postponement in the law's deliberations.
First, Komnas Perempuan appreciates the RUU TPKS working committee for conducting a study on and harmonizing the RUU TPKS.
Second, Komnas Perempuan is urging the DPR leadership to ensure that the deliberation and enactment of the RUU TPKS be proposed as a DPR initiative in 2022.
Third, Komnas Perempuan expressed its thanks to the survivors, the families of victims, academics, the mass media and service institutions which have tirelessly fought for the RUU TPKS without a break, and called for them to continue providing input on victim's experiences and monitoring the draft law through to its deliberation and enactment.
Fourth, Komnas Perempuan is urging the public to continue monitoring and supporting the DPR's consultative body and leadership in designating the RUU TPKS as a DPR initiative at the opening of DPR's next sitting in January 2022.
[Translated by James Balowski. The first paragraph was edited to make it clearer to readers why deliberations on the RUU TPKS have been postponed until next year. The original title of the article was "Komnas Perempuan Kecewa Penetapan RUU Kekerasan Seksual Ditunda, Ini 4 Pernyataan Sikapnya".]