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[16days_discussion] _Competent Handling for Women Victims of Sexual Violence_Indonesia

Theresia Yuliwati rere at
Mon Nov 25 23:50:13 EST 2013

*Press Release*

16 Day Campaign on the Elimination of Violence against Women,

25th November – 10th December 2013

 *Competent Handling for Women Victims of Sexual Violence*

Jakarta, 25th November 2013

The severity of the issue of sexual violence against women demands
immediate improvements in the system in order that women victims are
handled competently. Throughout 2013, we have been terrorised by sexual
violence that has reached emergency proportions. The shock over the case of
RI, a little girl still in grade five who passed away as a result of sexual
violence is just one in a long line of cases. All these attacks question
our humanity.

The need for competent handling can not be delayed further. From the data
gathered, at least 35 women become victims of sexual violence every day. In
2012 alone, there were 4,336 cases of violence against women. The four main
kinds of violence handled are rape and molestation (1620), attempted rape
(8), sexual abuse (118), and trafficking for sexual purposes (403). This
sexual violence occurred both in the household and the community, and was
also committed by the state. This number is just the tip of the iceberg.
Most victims are still reluctant to report because of the stigma they will
face and the burden of proof that falls on them.

However, efforts to comprehensively address sexual violence are still
hindered. One of the main issues is the inadequate legal framework. To this
day, improvements in criminal law and criminal procedures have been slow
and lacking direction. In reality, there are 15 kinds of sexual violence
experienced by women in Indonesia and each needs to be elaborated on. In
addition to the four kinds mentioned above there are, (a) sexual
exploitation, (b) sexual torture, (c) sexual slavery, (d) forced
prostitution, (e) forced pregnancy, (f) forced abortion, (g) forced
marriage, (h) sexual control including legislation on clothing and
criminalisation of women through discriminatory rules in the name of
morality and religion (i) punishment that is inhuman and with sexual
nuances, (j) traditional practices related to sexuality that harm or
discriminate against women; and (k) forced contraception/sterilisation.

Although there appears to have been improvements in handling by law
enforcement officials, victim assistants report that improvements have not
been uniform. Pervasive corruption remains a major constraint for victims
in obtaining justice. In many regions, victims still face state officials
who blame the victim or push for mediation that actually hampers the
recovery of the victim. Services for women victims are also very limited;
integrated handling units in the police are not yet a priority and
integrated service centres coordinated by the Ministry of Women's
Empowerment and Child Protection are often hampered by the existing
structure and support. The handling of cases is further complicated when
regional policy positions the issue of sexual violence as a morality issue.
Not to mention public officials who also harass and judge the victim.

 In the midst of all this, Komnas Perempuan noted increasing community
support and initiatives towards the resolution of cases of sexual violence.
The public response and media criticism of statements by public officials
that stigmatise victims, such as the statement of the prospective judge on
women victims of rape or the idea of the virginity test, being one of the
markers. There has also been a volunteer initiative pledging themselves to
join in the resistance. This included the band 'Simponi' who through their
song* Sister In Danger* campaigned in 11 cities in Java and Bali, students
of Visual Communication Design University Bina Nusantara who applied their
knowledge to support the campaign against sexual violence, as well as the
network of volunteers, Jakarta Free From Sexual Violence, which was formed
in October.

The increased public response is also evident in the number of parties
involved in the 16 Day Campaign against Violence. With pride Komnas
Perempuan recorded at least 129 organisations spread across 51 districts in
25 provinces are helping run the 16 Day Campaign in Indonesia this year.
This number is up 100% from the same campaign held two years ago. The 16
Day Campaign is held every year from 25th November, International Day for
the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th December, International
Human Rights Day. Since 2010, Komnas Perempuan and its partners have
dedicated the 16 Day Campaign to focus on the issue of sexual violence.
Support for the 16 Day Campaign is important in the struggle for immediate
implementation of competent handling services for women victims of sexual


 ·   Andy Yentriyani, Head of the Community Participation Sub Commission,
Commissioner Komnas Perempuan

·    Desti Murdijana, Deputy Chairperson Komnas Perempuan

For further information, please visit

*Theresia Yuliwati*
Komisi Nasional Anti Kekerasan terhadap Perempuan
(Komnas Perempuan- Indonesia's National Commission on Violence Against
Jl. Latuharhary No.4B, Menteng - Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia
Tel.  +62 21 3903963
Fax.  +62 21 3903922

*P Please consider the environment before printing my email.*
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