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Government ignoring upsurge in sexual violence against women

Pelita Online - March 5, 2012

Jakarta Ė The House of Representatives (DPR) and the government are still not paying attention to the fate of victims of rape and sexual harassment. Moreover the impression given by the DPR and government is that they are ignoring the problem even though year by year the incidents of rape and sexual harassment of women continue to increase.

This was conveyed by the Free Women National Committee (Komite Nasional Perempuan Mahardhika, KNPM) during a free speech action in the lead up to International Women's Day in Jakarta on Sunday March 4.

"Up until now, the government and parliament is still neglecting cases of rape and sexual harassment against women, it is even as if they are allowing it to happen", said action spokesperson Dian Novita. Yet, explained Novita, cases of sexual harassment and rape often occur in Indonesia and for women, this obviously makes them very anxious.

According to the KNPM's own records, there were 4,845 cases of rape and sexual harassment of women between 1998 and 2010. More than three quarters of these cases of sexual violence were perpetrated by people close to the victim such as fathers, husbands, older brothers, uncles, grandfathers and boyfriends.

"This makes us realise that even being with the people who are closest to us does not ensure that women can avoid incidents of sexual violence", she explained.

Moreover incidents of rape and the sexual harassment of women are not just occurring in places that are quiet but also in busy public locations. In addition to this, the perpetrators are diverse, from close relatives, public transport drivers, celebrities, government officials and politicians.

According to data from the Jakarta Metro Jaya regional police there has been an increase in rape cases on city public transport by as much as 13.33 percent. In 2010 there were around 60 cases, increasing to 68 cases in 2011.

In addition to this, Novita also gave the example of the Cakung Nusantara Bonded Zone (KBN) in North Jakarta, where the majority of workers are women, but there are frequent incidents of sexual harassment when women workers are traveling to and from work.

Moreover women often have to endure sexual harassment when they are attempting to find work or a good position in their offices. "These are only a few examples of the negative work environment that many women in Indonesia experience", she said.

Because of this, the KNPM will continue to call on the government and the DPR pay more attention to women's quality of life in the future. "In the context of commemorating International Women's Day, we will continue to call on the government and the DPR to address these issues", she asserted. (cr-14)

[DPR-Pemerintah Tidak Peduli Nasib Korban Perkosaan - Pelitaonline.com. Senin, 05 Maret 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]

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