Luqman Hakim, Yogyakarta – Women activists from a number of different groups in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta are urging the House of Representatives (DPR) to immediately ratify the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS) as a comprehensive mechanism to deal with sexual violence against women.
“It is urgent that the RUU is ratified after [languishing in parliament] for the last five years, we are worried that it will be stalled and not deliberated”, said Yogyakarta Women’s Network (JPY) activist Ika Ayu during a break in an action commemorating International Women’s Day (IWD) at the zero kilometre point in front of the Central Post Office on Friday March 8.
According to Ayu, the need for the RUU PKS is extremely urgent because in her view the handling of cases of sexual violence still does not side with the rights of survivors.
The handling of cases of sexual violence is not optimal, she said, as is becoming increasingly apparent in cases that have befallen women with special needs.
“In our experience in dealing with cases of sexual violence, it is disabled colleagues are the group which is twice as venerable”, she said.
Ayu hopes that with the enactment of the RUU PKS it will give rise to comprehensive mechanisms to protect, deal with and rehabilitate victims in an integrated, quality and sustainable manner.
In 2016 the RUU PKS was listed as number 1 priority in the DPR’s National Priority Legislation Program (Prolegnas). On April 6, 2017, the law was then designated as a DPR initiated RUU.
Yogyakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) research division member Meila Nurul Fajriyah says that the RUU PKS represents a hope that the problem of sexual violence against women can be accommodated by the state.
It is urgent that the law be immediately ratified because, according to Fajriyah, the number of cases of sexual violence continues to rise and are occurring in increasingly varied forms.
“The upward trend in sexual violence is still quite high because the pattern is continuing to develop. Before it was limited to rape and KDRT [domestic violence], now it’s entered the sphere of the internet and [social] media. Women can be stigmatised and exploited through [social] media”, said Fajriyah.
Based on data released by the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) for the year 2018 on the perpetrators of sexual violence in the private or personnel sphere, most violations are committed by boyfriends representing 1,528 out of 2,979 cases, followed by fathers with 425 cases, uncles with 322, stepfathers with 205 and husbands with 192 cases.
“Bear in mind that right now [with the legislative elections] we are approaching a change over in DPR members so it’s possible that [the ratification of the RUU PKS] will be delayed, but who knows after the pemilu [election] or before the pemilu we will be demanding its ratification as fast as possible”, said Fajriyah.
University of Gajah Mada (UGM) Faculty of Law lecturer Wiyanti Eddyono believes that many case of rape are difficult to prove legally because of how the criminal justice system is constructed, which he believes is still problematic.
He notes that only 10 percent of sexual violence cases are processed by the police and no more than half of these end up being tried in court.
According to Eddyono, rape cases inevitably place women in the position of being at fault (victim blaming) for what has happened. This, he said, is influenced by the culture in Indonesia which prioritises the rights of men because they are deemed to be more rational.
“Moreover women or victims are deemed too have behaved badly. Women are considered to be good if they don’t go out at night. Presumptions about women that are good then undermines support for rape victims”, he said.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Perempuan Yogyakarta mendesak pengesahan RUU PKS”.]