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Ministry urges House to pass sexual violence bill immediately

Jakarta Post - September 9, 2020

Jakarta – The Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry has urged lawmakers to pass the sexual violence eradication bill into law to fill the country's legal gaps pertaining to sexual violence prevention and mitigation.

"We need a regulation to fulfill the legal needs of sexual violence victims as they are prone to stigmatization and revictimization," Minister Bintang Puspayoga said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.

The bill, which has been under deliberation at the House of Representatives since 2016, consists of the element of prevention, treatment, protection and counseling for victims, as well as punishment for perpetrators.

It also expands the definition of sexual violence into nine categories, namely sexual harassment, exploitation, contraception coercion, abortion coercion, rape, forced marriage, forced prostitution, sexual slavery and torture.

Indonesia's prevailing regulations do not recognize the complex definition of sexual violence. The Criminal Code, for example, only recognizes forcible penile penetration of a woman's vagina as rape. It does not recognize sexual harassment.

Bintang deplored the sluggish progress of the bill's deliberation at the house, emphasizing that the country urgently needed a regulation that specifically regulates victims' rights for physical and mental rehabilitation.

The House has officially dropped the bill from this year's National legislation Program (Prolegnas) priority list, citing "complicated deliberations".

The bill has faced strong opposition from members of Islamic political parties such as the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), who argued that the bill supported the legalization of adultery and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behavior. (vny)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/09/08/ministry-urges-house-to-pass-sexual-violence-bill-immediately.html