Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Commissioner of the National Commission on Violence Against Women Irawati Harsono believes that female victims of sexual assault still receive minimal protection despite the presence of the Code of Criminal Procedure (KUHAP).

"The KUHAP tends to focus more on offering protection to the perpetrator, which includes rights for legal assistance," she stated at a discussion event in Jakarta, Thursday.

Hence, the Commission has pushed for the speedy passage of the Elimination of Sexual Violence bill, currently being reviewed in the House of Representatives, into a state law.

In the bill, the victims are placed as the subjects whose rights are defined in detail.

"The victims are entitled to the rights for legal assistance, protection, and recovery, which aim to prevent the recurrence of sexual assaults and to avoid any lasting impact on the victim," she revealed.

The Commissions data in 2016 indicated that at least 35 women, including girls, became victims of sexual assault in Indonesia.

The record also revealed an increasing trend over the years, with 2,645 cases recorded in 2010; 4,335 cases in 2011; 3,937 in 2012; 5,629 in 2013; and 4,458 in 2015.

Meanwhile, 5,786 cases were reported in 2016, a decrease from a total of 6,499 sexual assault cases in 2015.

The annual record from the Commission, released on March 7, 2017, stated that of all reported cases, 74 percent were of sexual assault that mostly occurred in the realm of the community, followed 16 percent physical abuse cases, and cases of other forms of violence, at under 10 percent.

Harsono further stated that the data was compiled from numerous reports obtained from the Commissions partners located in other provinces.

She believed that the cases in future will continue to become more serious in nature, thereby making sexual abuse a growing menace and merely the tip of the iceberg.

The commissioner was one of the speakers at the discussion panel themed "The Urgency to Legitimize Sexual Violence Eradication Law" organized by the Indonesian Feminist Lawyers Club.

Apart from Harsono, other speakers included Happy Farida Djarot, the wife of Jakartas Deputy Governor Djarok Saiful Hidayat; Vice President of the Indonesian Advocate Association Hendrik Jehaman; and Nihayatul Wafiroh, a member of the House of Representatives Commission IX.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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