Indonesia passes new sexual violence law amid growing cases
Indonesia’s parliament has approved a far-reaching law setting punishments for sexual violence after being spurred into action by a recent case in which an Islamic boarding school principal raped and impregnated several students
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s parliament Tuesday approved a far-reaching law setting punishments for sexual violence after being spurred into action by a recent case in which an Islamic boarding school principal raped and impregnated several students.
The legislation had languished for years amid arguments it has a liberal feminist ideology that contravenes religious and cultural values in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation.
The law recognizes men and children can be victims of sexual violence. Indonesia’s Criminal Code, a legacy of the Dutch colonial era. recognizes only rape and lewd crimes committed by men against women and doesn’t have provisions for restitution or other remedies for victims and survivors.
Nine forms of sexual violence are recognized in the law: physical and nonphysical sexual harassment, sexual torture, forced contraception, forced sterilization, forced marriage, sexual slavery, sexual exploitation and cyber sexual harassment.
In addition to acknowledging sexual violence as punishable criminal acts, the law has provisions for protection and recovery for the victims.
Of the House’s nine political parties, only the conservative Muslim-based Prosperous Justice Party, known as PKS, rejected it as they wanted the bill to prohibit extramarital sex and homosexual relations.
“Our rejection is part of our struggle to fight for the prohibition and punishment of perpetrators of adultery and sexual deviations which are ultimately not include in the bill,” said Al Muzzamil Yusuf, a legislator from PKS.