By: Nurul Sugiati*


As a social worker who works with women and children victims of violence, whether physical, psychological or sexual violence, interacting with victims is my daily life. Initially, women who were victims of violence were reluctant to report their cases. The assumption that reporting cases, especially in the household, is a disgrace. But now many victims realize that violence cannot be tolerated.

Sexual violence does not look at who is the victim and who is the perpetrator. There is a 15 year old girl who was a victim of sexual violence by her stepfather since she was 5 years old, she did not complain because she received threats from the perpetrator. Her mother did not take her side and was considered a flirt and teased the perpetrator.

There was also a woman who got violence from her husband because she refused to have sex, even though she was menstruating. The perpetrator did not want to know and beat his wife. The victim’s back and chest at that time was covered with wounds from the slash of the belt. It turned out that the perpetrator had abused his wife for 13 years, even his children often witnessed their mother being tortured by their father. The perpetrator was only sentenced to 2 years in prison, and the sentence is far from justice. 


Not only did the perpetrators get light sentences, there were also those who were free from sentences. There are victims of sexual violence whose husband is the perpetrator, and choose to reconcile and withdraw their reports because they have not strong financial and fear that no one can support financial for them. There were also those who decided to stop bringing the perpetrators to justice because they were threatened and intimidated by the perpetrators’ families. On the other hand, government facilities are still inadequate, there is still no special place for women victims of sexual violence to stay temporarily after experiencing violence in order to avoid threats and intimidation by perpetrators.


Not only the victims, the assistants in cases of violence also often experience intimidation and threats. My house was thrown with stones until windows were broken, motorbikes were grazed, threats through messages on cell phones, and so on. This threat occurred because there was still an opinion that as a companion to victims of violence, I was too involved in other people’s affairs, especially domestic matters.


From all of my experiences prove that the state is still not serious in dealing with cases of sexual violence, both legal threats to perpetrators and recovery for victims of sexual violence. The state also has not protected companions for victims of violence who are vulnerable to intimidation. Therefore, for me, the Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (Pungkas Bill) is a way to prevent, treat, recover and protect victims of sexual violence.


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