Jakarta post: In a bid to curb rampant sexual violence in the country, the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) is pushing for lawmakers to include bill on the eradication of sexual violence in the national legislation program (Prolegnas) 2015-2019.
The bill, which is currently being drafted, will mark a progressive step in the country’s battle against sexual violence, said the commission’s policy and law reform division coordinator assistant, Asma’ul “Henny” Khusnaeny.
She said the country needed such a progressive law because the frequency of sexual violence cases had reached a worrying level.
“In one hour, there are two to three sexual violence cases happening,” Henny told The Jakarta Post, referring to the commission’s records.
Therefore, the bill was designed to give the harshest punishment to the perpetrators of sexual violence and to protect people from sexual violence, she said.
“We want to make a mechanism to prevent people from repeating their crimes as well as to prevent repeat offenders from receiving impunity,” said Henny.
If the sex offenders were public officials, such as teachers, then the prison sentence would be added on with one-third of the initial verdict.
Despite the existence of the law on child protection and on human trafficking, the bill seeks to provide better protection against children, according to Henny.
Data from the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) shows that there has been a continuous rise in cases of sexual violence against children, with 459 incidents recorded during the period between January and June of this year, compared to 590 reports made throughout 2013.
From 2011 to 2014, there were 2,124 cases of sexual violence against children.
The law also seeks to provide better protection against rape victims, according to Henny.
“The Criminal Code [KUHP] is really narrow in defining rape, which is only when a penis penetrates a vagina,” she said. Besides the definition of rape, the bill also included a broader definition of sexual violence.
The commission has conducted research on sexual violence from 1998 to 2013, which comes up with 15 forms of sexual violence.
They are rape, sexual intimidation, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, sexual trading, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced contraception and sterilization, sexual torture, sexually-charged punishment (caning), sexually-charged traditional practices (female circumcision) and sexual control.
One example of sexual violence that recently came to the public’s attention is virginity tests.
The commission’s chairwoman, Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, said the tests were a form of sexual violence that degraded women and discriminated against women.
Gugah Nurani Indonesia (GNI), an NGO fighting for children’s rights, said that it would be good if the bill was passed in the House of Representatives.
“But what’s important is how the law is implemented. I’m worried that if we have too many laws, then the implementation will be lacking,” said GNI chairman Bagus Yaugo Wicaksono.