Jakarta (ANTARA) - The number of cases of violence against women and children in 2022 indicated the need for stricter law enforcement against perpetrators.

The number of cases uncovered is also a warning for all parties, indicating that several women and children had yet to receive justice for the acts of violence they experienced.

In an effort to reduce the number of cases of violence against women, especially sexual violence, in 2022, the government issued Law Number 12 of 2022 on Crimes of Sexual Violence (TPKS Law) on May 9, 2022.

Ratification of the TPKS Law is in line with President Joko Widodo's directives to the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) that consists of five priority issues, one of which was reducing the number of cases of violence against women and children.

This law is considered to be a manifestation of the state’s presence to protect and fulfill victims' rights to receive treatment, protection, and recovery.

The law is expected to provide protection to children and women by preventing all forms of sexual violence; handling, protecting, and recovering victims; implementing law enforcement and rehabilitating perpetrators; creating a safe environment without sexual violence; and ensuring that sexual violence will not recur.

Law enforcement officials are also encouraged to apply the TPKS Law in accordance with the mandate of the law as an effort to use the law as a legal umbrella and giving justice to the victims to receive restitution and recovery services.

In addition, coordination with the Witness and Victim Protection Agency (LSPK) is needed for the protection procedures and victims and witnesses’ rights as stated in Article 30 of the TPKS Law.

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TPKS Law’s Derivative Rule

Meanwhile, the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) urged the government to immediately formulate derivative regulations for the TPKS Law to ensure implementation of the law.

"We ask the PPPA Ministry and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights to ensure the implementation of the TPKS Law, including the formulation of derivative regulations and the implementation of socialization," head of Komnas Perempuan, Andy Yentriyani, stated.

She emphasized the need to give special attention to disseminating information on the TPKS Law to ensure its implementation and benefits for the victims.

In addition, Deputy Speaker of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Lestari Moerdijat, urged that technical regulations for the TPKS Law be completed immediately to help offer certainty in the legal process for cases of sexual violence.

“We encourage related stakeholders to accelerate the implementation of the derivative regulation from the TPKS Law,” Moerdijat stated.

Regarding this matter, the PPPA Ministry is targeting the completion of derivative regulations from the TPKS Law in mid-2023.

"Hopefully, in mid-2023, everything will be finished," PPPA Minister Bintang Puspayoga remarked.

She said that currently, the process was still underway for the derivative regulation.

"From the initial mandate, there were five government regulations (PP) and five presidential regulations. However, after we coordinated with several ministries and agencies, there were four PPs and five presidential regulations,” the minister explained.

Along with efforts to disclose and handle cases of sexual violence, the ministry continues to raise awareness about its campaign called "Dare to Speak Up" among members of the public to encourage them to have the courage to report cases of sexual violence to authorized institutions.

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Puspayoga also reminded the public to stop considering cases of sexual violence as a disgrace to prevent victims from becoming reluctant to report them.

"Do not think that this case is a disgrace, but we must have the courage to report it in order to provide justice to the victims and (to have) a deterrent effect on the perpetrators. Let us have the courage to reveal cases," she noted.

Her side also encouraged people who experience, hear, see, or know of cases of violence to report through the Friends of Women and Children hotline (SAPA) 129 by telephone number 129 or through WhatsApp messenger at number 08111-129-129.

Mas Bechi's case

The case of sexual violence at the Shiddiqiyyah Islamic Boarding School, Jombang, East Java, with the defendant Moch. Subchi Azal Tsani (MSAT), alias Mas Bechi, is one of the cases of sexual violence that shocked the public in 2022.

The Surabaya District Court (PN) judges sentenced Bechi to seven years in prison.

The verdict by the panel of judges received a disappointing reaction from the defendant's family and his supporters, who believed Bechi had never committed rape.

Bechi was on the wanted list (DPO), as he failed to show up when summoned by the East Java Regional Police investigators as a suspect.

Apart from the Bechi case, there were several cases of sexual violence at Islamic boarding schools that came to light in 2022.

A case of sexual violence came to light at an Islamic boarding school in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, with five male students as victims.

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Another case of sexual violence was reported at the Islamic boarding school in Tuban, East Java, with the victims being two female students.

Moreover, a case occurred at an Islamic boarding school in Muaro Jambi, Jambi, with the victim being a female student.

Some 11 female students fell victims in a case of sexual violence that occurred at an Islamic boarding school in Depok, West Java.

Furthermore, the case at an Islamic boarding school in Banyuwangi, East Java, involved five female students and one male student.

Cases of sexual violence that continue to recur in Islamic boarding schools should raise an alarm for local governments, schools' boards, owners of Islamic boarding schools, the community, and parents to conduct strict supervision.

It was expected that no other teachers would inflict any form of physical and mental harm on their students through violence.

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Parents, who send their children to educational institutions, certainly hope that their children would receive good treatment at school.

Moreover, children, who live in a healthy and safe environment, will become superior human resources for the next generation of the nation.

Likewise, women, including mothers, who live in harmonious families, will produce healthy and smart kids.

All parties must realize that it is very important to pay attention to efforts to protect women and children for the better future of the nation.

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Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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