Police in Pringsewu regency in Lampung province recently arrested a 40-year-old man for raping his 15-year-old stepdaughter, with a neighbor also suspected of raping the underage girl on numerous occasions.
According to reports, the victim, who is identified by her initials DS, was first raped by her stepfather, R, in 2014, when she was nine. DS had always shared a bed with R and her biological mother.
R confessed to the police that he raped DS at least 10 times in six years. "I did it when my wife woke up early to go to the mosque for the dawn prayer," R said yesterday, as quoted by Kompas.
R said DS' mother caught him raping the girl once, but he threatened to end their lives if they told anyone.
In addition to R, police arrested his neighbor, a 48-year-old man identified by his initials IS, who confessed to raping DS eight times since 2018. It's not yet clear if R helped IS rape his stepdaughter in any way.
The sexual abuse came to light when DS fainted at school and it was discovered that she is pregnant. The identity of the father has not yet been established.
In light of the case, local police urged parents not to share a bed with their children.
"Especially if [the children] are of the opposite sex. It's for the best that daughters get their own rooms," Pringsewu Police Deputy Chief Misbahudin told reporters yesterday.
While it's true that children should ideally sleep in their own rooms, the harsh reality in Indonesia is that many low income families live in small houses with very limited space, and there is often no other choice but for everyone to share a bed.
Furthermore, there is never anything or anybody else to blame for rape other than the rapist.
At any rate, R and IS were both charged with sexual abuse of a minor, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison under Indonesia's Child Protection Law. In R's case, his punishment may be raised by a third of his eventual sentence as he's legally DS' parent.