Jayapura, Jubi – Ha-Anim Women's Association (PPHA) chair Febi Koten highlighted eight cases of sexual violence against children that took place in Merauke Regency, South Papua Province between 2021 and 2023. The protection of children and women from sexual violence and abuse is a matter that requires the attention and efforts of all parties.
Febi said that from 2021 to 2023, there were at least 11 cases of sexual violence in Merauke Regency. Of that number, eight cases were experienced by children between 3 and 17 years old. Meanwhile, the other three cases were experienced by victims aged 27 to 37.
"From our identification, victims of sexual violence are predominantly children," Febi told Jubi on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
Febi said the case data was compiled from media reports. She noted that the majority of the perpetrators of sexual violence against children were people who were close to the victims, such as friends, neighbors and the victim's biological fathers.
PPHA spokesperson Maria Goreti said there must be serious efforts to prevent cases of sexual violence and harassment. She urged all parties to provide education about forms of sexual violence, to prevent new cases from occurring.
Goreti urged all members of society to come together and oppose any kind of violence against women and children. She encouraged people to take part in the fight against violence and sexual harassment through all available media platforms.
"And the police must handle all offenders of sexual crimes according to the established legal process," Goreti said in a written statement received by Jubi on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, PPHA member Magda Lomanop said women must protect each other and unite against any sexual violence and harassment.
"These cases make us realize that sexual violence is a threat to every woman, especially children. And the perpetrators are not only strangers but can also be individuals close to the victim," she said. (*)