Usman Hadi, Yogyakarta – Advocates and the legal team supporting a Gajah Mada University (UGM) student who was the victim of rape during a student community placement program (KKN) on Seram Island have objected to the use of the term “peaceful resolution” in an agreement reached between the perpetrator and the victim facilitated by the UGM university management.
“We strongly object and reject this, and feel disturbed over the use of the term ‘peaceful’”, said Rifka Annisa Women’s Crisis Centre director Suharti – who has been advocating the victim’s case – when speaking in Yogyakarta, Central Java, on February 6.
Suharti explained that the use of the term “peaceful” negates the victim’s struggle to obtain justice. The use of the term peaceful also gives the impression that the victim has given up the fight.
“It makes the achievements and reforms won by the victim and the movement over almost half-a-year (of fighting for justice) appear as if it has produced no result”, said Suharti.
The peaceful resolution between the victim and perpetrator was announced by UGM Rector Panut Mulyono. Mulyono asserted that the two had agreed to resolve the case – which is currently being investigated by the Yogyakarta regional police – through non-litigation channels.
The peaceful agreement was reached at the UGM Central Building on the afternoon of Monday February 4. They declared that reconciliation had been reached with the signing of an official document which was signed by three people, the victim, the perpetrator and the UGM rector.
The dean of UGM’s Faculty of Social and Political Science (Fisipol) – the faculty where the victim was studying – Erwan Agus Purwanto, also confirmed that an agreement had been reached. Purwanto said that through this long process and the various approaches taken by UGM a non-litigation resolution has finally been achieved. (ush/mbr)
On November 5, UGM’s student magazine Balairung published an investigative report on the alleged rape of UGM Fisipol student AN (known by the pseudonym Agni). In the report, AN alleged that fellow UGM student HS raped her on June 30 during a KKN in Maluku. The case promptly made headlines and UGM was blamed for the slow handling of the affair and “victim blaming” over its refusal to investigate the case. The case quickly generated a groundswell of support by student activist groups calling for the university to protect Agni and punish the perpetrator.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Respons Pendamping soal Akhir Damai Kasus Perkosaan Mahasiswi UGM”.]