"The president supported the discussion on the bill on Elimination of Sexual Violence," Chairman of the National Commission for Women Azriana stated after meeting President Jokowi at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.
The draft bill is currently being finalized and is expected to be readied by early July 2016 and may be submitted to the Parliament, and information on it will be disseminated.
"We demand that information on the bill should be disseminated by involving the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection," Azriana stated.
The chairman mentioned that the need to formulate the bill arose due to the lack of regulations that protect women.
"The bill was initiated as the Commission had found that cases of sexual abuse had increased to 15 forms of violence, including those against children, while the current regulation is only limited to crimes, such as rape and sexual abuse," Azriana pointed out.
The existing laws cannot serve as a legal umbrella, with the growing types of cases that necessitate the formulation of new laws.
Azriana affirmed that the bill also offered its own procedural law, which is expected to help the victims.
"Currently, the victims are facing difficulties in providing evidence, whereas the new bill will allow their testimony to be used as evidence. It is expected to reduce the number of cases that cannot be dealt with," Azriana explained.
Based on the data in 2015, the Commission had reviewed 47 cases, 50 percent of which were solved through mediation due to lack of proof though it did not facilitate the victims recovery and also could not prevent the recurrence of such cases of violence.
According to Azriana, the new bill also regulates the rights of victims and families.
"Later, we will convey the information to the media in conjunction with presenting the bill to the Parliament and government," Azriana emphasized.
Meanwhile, Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection Yohana Yembise stated that the draft bill was indeed a priority following the rising cases of violence against women, which should draw the focus of the House of Representatives.
"We also evaluated the on-field mechanisms, ranging from the handling of victims to the rehabilitation process, and the minister has explained about the process of rehabilitating women and children who had become victims of sexual violence," Yembise remarked.
Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa affirmed that President Jokowi had paid serious attention to the emergence of sexual violence against women.
"The Commission is paying attention to the bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence. The Commission requests that the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection should coordinate with the National Commission for Women through the States Secretariat Ministry," Khofifah noted.
The Ministry of Social Affairs is currently focusing on the concept of rehabilitating the victims and perpetrators.
"There are six bills that have been submitted to the 2016 National Legislation Program, one of them being the Elimination of Sexual Violence bill. This will become a priority for the government and Parliament to accelerate the discussion," Khofifah added.
(Reporting By Agus Salim/T.A050/Uu.INE/KR-BSR/O001)