Jakarta – The Women's Rights Sexual Violence Victims Defense Network is urging the House of Representatives (DPR) to immediately designate the Draft Law on Sexual Violence Crimes (RUU TPKS, formally the RUU PKS) as a DPR draft law initiative for the start of 2022.
They made the call during a protest action in front of the parliamentary complex in Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday December 22, which coincides with the commemoration of Mothers Day.
They also brought symbols of their struggle in the form of the clothing of women victims of sexual violence. This was done so that boarder society, the DPR and the government understands the critical situation of sexual violence in Indonesia.
"Sexual violence in Indonesia at the moment cannot be tolerated anymore. Indonesia is in a state of a sexual violence emergency", said Network representative Mutiara Ikal Pratiwi during a break in the protest action.
Pratiwi explained that based on data release by the Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry, there were 2,693 cases of sexual violence against women between January 1 and December 9, 2021, where 73.7 percent of these were cases of sexual violence in the home.
Meanwhile, she continued, there were 10,832 cases of violence against children which were dominated by cases of sexual violence which accounted for 59.7 percent or more than half.
Pratiwi said that cases of sexual violence, which are becoming increasingly widespread, signify that safe space for women is becoming narrower, including in the world of education and in religious institutions.
"These facts and incidents are enough to depict how just how many women, female children and also male children are totally unprotected by the law", she said.
"It is time for the DPR and the government to ratify the RUU TPKS for the protection of the public from sexual violence and to remove [the victims] from criminalisation over the sexual violence they have experienced", she added.
In speeches at the rally, the Network articulated a number of points.
First, they urged the DPR's Consultative Body (Bamus) to immediately schedule and submit the RUU TPKS to the DPR leadership so it can then be submitted for deliberation with the DPR's legislative body.
Second, they called in the promise and urged the DPR leadership to designate the RUU TPKS as a DPR draft initiative at the opening of the DPR's first plenary session on January 13, 2022.
Third, they called for an evaluation to be conducted into the Bamus as an auxiliary body so that it carries out its work effectively and transparently.
Finally, they asked the public and the media to support the ratification of the RUU TPKS and to provide support for media content and campaigns on the ratification of the draft law.
The RUU TPKS failed to be approved as a DPR draft law initiative for 2021 because a Bamus meeting was unable to agree on planned deliberations of the law being taken to the DPR's last 2021 plenary meeting on Thursday December 16.
This is despite the fact that on Wednesday December 8 the DPR legislative body (Baleg) agreed that the RUU TPKS would be approved as DPR draft law initiative.
DPR Deputy Speaker Disco Ahmad said that the RUU TPKS failed to be taken to the final plenary meeting for 2021 not because there was no agreement, but rather because it had passed the time limit for scheduled leadership and the Bamus meetings.
"The technical problems was that when we [held a] leadership meeting and a Bamus, the law had not yet finished being discussed at level one", said Ahmad. (mts/kid)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Masyarakat Sipil Demo DPR Desak Pengesahan RUU TPKS".]