Ministry records 6,547 cases of sexual violence against children in 2021

Source – January 19, 2022
Banner reads ‘Eliminate Sexual Violence’ - Undated (VOA Indonesia)

Vitorio Mantalean, Jakarta – The Ministry for the Empowerment of Women and Protection of Children (KPPPA) recorded tens of thousands of cases of violence against children and women throughout 2021.

"Throughout 2021 there were 10,247 cases of violence against women where 15.2 percent of them were sexual violence", said PPPA Minister Bintang Puspayoga in a virtual press conference on Wednesday January 19.

In the case of violence against children, the trend is of even more concern because the largest proportion was also cases of sexual violence.

"In case of violence against children, 45.1 percent out of 14,517 case of violence against children were cases of sexual violence", she said

This amounts to around 6,547 cases of sexual violence against children in 2021.

Puspayoga asserted that the cases of violence against women and children represent the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile that the real number of cases could be far worse compared with those that are currently known.

"The problem which is occurring is actually more complex and larger than the problem that is seen on the surface", she added.

Puspayoga claimed that the ministry is committed to monitoring the House of Representatives' (DPR) deliberations on the Draft Law on Sexual Violence Crimes (RUU TPKS) until it is ratified and becomes a legal instrument which can address this problem.

She agrees with the view that the current legal system which exists in Indonesia is incapable of systematically and fully preventing, protecting, restoring and providing access to empower victims of sexual violence.

"If we look at the philosophical, judicial and sociological aspects, it is urgent that this draft law be ratified. This draft law is in accordance with Indonesia's commitment in ratifying or legislating the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women)", explained Puspayoga.

The RUU TPKS, which was previously named the Draft Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (RUU PKS), was once included in the 2020 national legislation program (Prolegnas), but was later removed by the DPR.

At the time, the government and the DPR were criticised because the deliberations on the RUU PKS were seen as not involving the public.

Now, the RUU TPKS has been approved as a DPR draft law initiative and has been included in the 2022 Prolegnas.

The public is now waiting on an official presidential letter (surpres) from President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, including in this case from the ministry, which will become a leading sector as the government representative in the deliberations on the RUU TPKS.

Although it is not yet certain that her ministry will be appointed as a leading sector, Puspayoga claims that she has already asked officials in the ministry to comb through the RUU TPKS and put together a problem innovatory list (DIM).

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Pemerintah Catat 6.500 Lebih Kasus Kekerasan Seksual terhadap Anak Sepanjang 2021".]