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Women in Aceh refugee camps sex crime targets: report

Agence France Presse - March 30, 2006

Jakarta – More than 100 cases of sexual violence or harassment have been reported by Acehnese women living in camps and shelters after the 2004 tsunami, according to a report by an Indonesian women's commission released Thursday.

Research compiled over the five months to February this year found 108 cases of sexual violence or harassment, including 10 rapes, all committed mostly by individuals close to the victims.

As of the end of 2005, around 67,000 people remained in tents and 30,000 lived in shelters in Aceh, where some 168,000 people died when the massive waves lashed the coast.

Young women aged 18 to 28 bore the heaviest brunt of the crimes, ranging from peeping toms at camp public bathrooms to actual rapes, the report said. In the worst instance, a 15-year-old girl was gang-raped by seven men.

The report, however, said about three-quarters of domestic violence victims had reported their cases to police, who had tended to respond positively by arresting the perpetrators. It did not give a figure for the number of domestic violence victims.

It called on Jakarta and Aceh administrators to be more actively involved in supervising security at the camps and shelters and to set up state-run agencies for women to report any assaults.