Putu Indah S, Fadhli Ruhman, Jakarta – The forced marriage article within the sexual violence prevention bill (RUU TPKS) must specifically include lack of consent from victims, researcher from the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Maidina Rahmawati, said.
She deemed it important that lawmakers include victims' inability to understand the impact of being forced into a marriage, marriage unknown by victims, and marriage based on deception, debt, and the threat of violence.
"This should be emphasized," she said in an official statement issued on Monday.
Rahmawati also highlighted the foundational problem in sexual violence handling, namely the victims' difficulty in fulfilling the requirement stipulated within the criminal procedure.
"Hence, progressive moves are necessary to update the criminal procedure," she said.
These progressive efforts would empower victims, but not reduce the standard for verification and rights' guarantee over fair justice.
In addition, she said she believed that the death penalty for sexual violence perpetrators is not a solution to sexual violence.
Granting the death penalty to sexual violence perpetrators shifts the state's focus to matters that are no more important than victims.
"While perpetrators of rape and other sexual violence must be accountable for their crimes, death penalty and torture are not the solution," Rahmawati said while quoting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.
There is not a single piece of scientific evidence that shows that the death penalty can serve as a deterrent, including in rape cases, she added.
The focus of law enforcement authorities should be the victims, not the perpetrators, she said.
The court that currently has a guideline for adjudicating cases involving women should start to think progressively by thinking about what the victims need, she added.
"Not just stuck on personal anger that will not help the victims at all," she remarked.