Today's plenary session is a historic moment that the community has been waiting for. Today, the UU TPKS will be approved by the DPR to become a law
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The issue pertaining to women and children oftentimes becomes an interesting topic of discussion that draws attention.

Falling in the most vulnerable group, they are prone to becoming victims of violence, sexual harassment, and discrimination and are affected by the patriarchal culture that is still deeply rooted in this country.

As the country ages, the number of cases also increases. During that time, the absence of a state law resulted in no protection to women as the pillars or children as future leaders of the nation.

Based on data compiled by the Commissioner of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), 338,496 verified reports of gender-based violence (KBG) against women were reported in 2021.

Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Maria Ulfah Anshor stated that annually, almost five thousand cases of violence against women were reported comprising 30 percent in the form of physical violence; 30 percent, sexual violence; and the rest constituting psychological violence.

Sexual violence against women can be prevented through the Sexual Crime Prevention Law (UU TPKS). Apart from preventing the occurrence of sexual violence against women, this law could prevent the criminalization of victims.

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Although Komnas Perempuan has voiced this since 2012 and the drafting of the UU TPKS had been underway since 2014, it took a decade for the UU TPKS to be approved in the Plenary Session of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) on April 12, 2022.

Earlier, in May 2016, the UU TPKS was discussed for the first time during the DPR RI session. However, the discussion went cold with no clarity.

However, the fight has not ended. One person that persistently echoed and supported this law was Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, I Gusti Ayu Bintang Puspayoga. She believed that UU TPKS could become a new milestone in the legal framework to provide justice for the victims as well as implement law enforcement in Indonesia.

Puspayoga had coordinated with ministries and agencies, DPR, academics, and religious leaders to pass this bill. This law is expected to reduce the cases of sexual violence in future.

Meanwhile, Komnas Perempuan called all elements to oversee the implementation of UU TPKS in accordance with its commitment.

The bill has been finally legalized into a law on April 12, 2022, thereby enabling the victims of sexual violence to seek justice. The power of the modern Kartini in Indonesia has succeeded in providing legal help to the victims of sexual violence.

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April 12, 2022

On April 6, 2022, the DPR RI approved the UU TPKS and brought it to the Plenary Session to be ratified into a law.

Six days later, on April 12, 2022, the Plenary Meeting for the UU TPKS was held at the Indonesian Parliament building in Jakarta, chaired by the House of Representative Speaker, Puan Maharani.

Maharani said, the plenary meeting for UU TPKS is a manifestation of the hard work of all elements to protect victims of sexual violence and to prove that the good intentions will reap good results.

“Today's plenary session is a historic moment that the community has been waiting for. Today, the UU TPKS will be approved by the DPR to become a law,” she remarked.

The echo of the voices of gratitude in the building was loud. Everyone cheered happily because with just one tap of the hammer and the word 'agree', the UU TPKS officially became the legal provision for victims of sexual violence.

Puspayoga, who was present to represent all the victims, women, and children, was also touched when President Joko Widodo also agreed to pass the UU TPKS into a law.

The UU TPKS, among other things, will qualify the types of sexual crimes along with other crimes that are expressly stated as criminal acts of sexual violence as regulated in the provisions of other laws and regulations.

Another breakthrough that was presented was the existence of a comprehensive legal procedural arrangement, starting from the investigation, prosecution, and examination in court while still paying attention to and upholding human rights and honor without intimidation.

Puspayoga is optimistic that the UU TPKS would become a tangible manifestation of the state's presence in an effort to prevent all forms of sexual violence as well as aid in handling and recovering the victims.

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"The UU TPKS can help to implement law enforcement, create an environment without sexual violence, and ensure that sexual violence does not occur again," she affirmed.

The UU TPKS is expected to pay closer attention to all possibilities that the victims of sexual violence can face. This includes how the law or policy is adopted if the rape occurs through the use of other body parts or foreign objects that are inserted into the victim's private parts.

All of that has become the responsibility of the state since it has become a criminal act. The police should be looking for evidence for reporting, which was submitted by the victim.

The government through legal regulations must continue to ensure that every woman and child can live safely and comfortably, and that all their rights are fulfilled.

However, a question that needs to be answered is: can we, fellow citizens, take care and protect them without discrimination or negative thoughts about one gender?

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Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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