Anti-violence Against Women Day, ratify the Sexual Violence Crimes Bil

Source – November 25, 2021
Banner reads 'Listen to the victims, enact the draft law on the elimination of sexual volence' – Undated (MI)

Jessica Ester, Jakarta – The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) is organising a 16 Day Anti-Violence Against Women campaign. This year, Komnas Perempuan will take up the theme "Act together, enact a legal umbrella to eliminate sexual violence which sides with the victims".

The main focus of the campaign will be to promote the enactment of the Draft Law on Sexual Violence Crimes (UU TPKS), formerly known as the RUU PKS.

"Over the last five years there have been 24,786 cases of sexual violence. These reports are from service institutions, government instructions as well as direct complaints with Komnas Perempuan", said Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Satywanti Mashudi during a press conference on Wednesday November 24.

Mashudi said that 7,344 of these cases were rape. Less than 30 percent of them however were pursued by police. According to Mashudi, the low level of legal prosecutions shows that the substantive aspect has yet to address a number of acts of sexual violence, but instead only covers a limited definition.

In addition to this, she said, the victims are currently left facing uncertainly. Yet during the pandemic the number of sexual violence reports has risen. As a result, there are cases which have not been handled because of the lack of a comprehensive legal umbrella.

Mashudi is therefore emphasising the importance of a law which sides with the victims so that they can receive comprehensive protection. In addition to this, it is also needed in order to break the chain of sexual violence and provide comprehensive rehabilitation for the victims.

"The law should not just consider how to prosecute perpetrators. The rehabilitation of victims is something which is also important because it will rehabilitate victims so then can continue a normal life in the future", she said.

According to Mashudi, a "tip of the iceberg" phenomena still exists in cases of sexual violence. The number of cases which are not reported are far more than those that are reported.

This is because there is a taboo or fear of scandal that if it becomes public, that it will shame other people, institutions and those around them. In addition to this, there is mistrust that their cases will be processed and doubts about the perspective of law enforcement officials related to sexual violence.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Hari Antikekerasan Terhadap Perempuan, Sahkan UU Tindak Pidana Kekerasan Seksual".]