Jakarta (ANTARA) - Repeated cases of sexual violence at Islamic boarding schools should serve as a warning for everyone to conduct strict supervision, Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga has said.

"There should no longer be educators who cause children to be physically and mentally hurt because they were violated. All educational institutions are responsible for providing protection to their students, meeting children's rights to have a safe and comfortable learning process," Minister Puspayoga said in a press release received here on Tuesday.

She issued the statement in response to reports of the alleged sexual abuse of six students at a boarding school in Banyuwangi.

The minister further said that a Children-Friendly Islamic Boarding School program has been implemented in Islamic boarding schools, which aims to create a fun environment for children that encourages them to worship in peace, enjoy learning, be creative, and at the same time, provides a caring environment for children.

Educational institutions must seek to nurture students of good quality, both physically, mentally, and spiritually, in order to build a generation that can improve the nation's future.

Puspayoga’s administration has expressed regret over the alleged sexual abuse of six students by a caretaker, identified as F, at a boarding school in Singojuruh Sub-district, Banyuwangi District, East Java.

The ministry has urged law enforcement officers to thoroughly investigate the case, arrest the perpetrator right away, and impose the maximum sanctions.

Minister Puspayoga said she expects that the public will not stigmatize the victims, and that the victims would be supported in their journey of recovery from their trauma so that they can be integrated with the society once more, hang out with their friends, and attend school again.

The case came to light after one of the parents reported the boarding school caretaker to the Banyuwangi Police Department.

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Based on witness accounts and medical evidence, it was found that of the six victims, five were abused sexually and one was a victim of sexual intercourse. The victims included four girls and one boy.

The case is currently being investigated, but F is yet to be named a suspect. The police have summoned F on Tuesday (June 28, 2022).

"The Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry has encouraged law enforcement officers to give sanctions to perpetrators in accordance with the applicable laws. Law enforcement is very necessary in order to create a deterrent effect on perpetrators and anyone, so that similar cases do not repeat," deputy for child protection at the ministry, Nahar, said.

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Translator: Anita P D, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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