Cyber gender-based violence up 920% amid pandemic: commission

Cyber gender-based violence up 920% amid pandemic: commission

Commissioner of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), Maria Ulfah Anshor.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase was 920 percent, or an increase of 329 cases compared to the previous year, before the pandemic (2019), which was 35 cases
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Cyber gender-based violence (KBGS) increased by 920 percent amid the pandemic compared to 2019, Commissioner of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), Maria Ulfah Anshor stated.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase was 920 percent, or an increase of 329 cases compared to the previous year, before the pandemic (2019), which was 35 cases," Ulfah Anshor said, when contacted by ANTARA from Jakarta on Thursday.

She attributed the significant increase in cases of sexual violence in cyberspace amid the pandemic to the shift in people's activities to online platforms, such as for online learning and online work.

These changes affected the flow of information received by various groups, especially minors, who began to become addicted to technology and the internet, she said.

"The influence of information and technology has promoted changes in the forms and patterns of gender-based violence," she stated.

Based on reports received by Komnas Perempuan, sexual violence in cyberspace involved harassment, human trafficking, hacking, pornography services, threats of distribution of personal photos and videos for revenge (revenge porn), insults and defamation through cyber, identity fraud, and stalking, she said.

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“In addition, there are some perpetrators who use technology to download and edit the victim's original image without their consent. This also happens often,” she added.

The perpetrators of cyber-based sexual crimes approached victims through social media, she said. One of their goals was to recruit victims for human-trafficking networks, she stated.

Therefore, Komnas Perempuan and civil society networks are pushing for the protection of KBGS victims through the draft Sexual Violence Eradication Bill (RUU PKS), which has been submitted to the House of Representatives, Anshor said.

"In the bill that we have proposed, there are six key elements that are oriented to the interests of victims," she said.

The six key elements are prevention, handling, recovery, criminal proceedings, criminal provisions, and monitoring, she noted.

Komnas Perempuan has also included nine types of sexual violence in the draft, she said.

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