Indonesia: Attitudes and Inadequate Services Harm Survivors of Sexual Violence
Friday, April 13, 2012 12:55 PM

In Indonesia as elsewhere, victims of sexual violence are often reluctant to come forward due to fears they will be blamed for what happened and those who do report the crime struggle with insensitive police and a lack of services. Vitria Lazzarini, executive coordinator of the Pulih Foundation, a women's crisis centre in Jakarta, explained that police often ask victims “whether she enjoyed it, what she was wearing at the time, and what she was doing outside at that time of night.” Neta Pane, coordinator of Indonesian Police Watch (IPW), an independent police monitoring organization, said victim-blaming attitudes are prevalent and inhibit efforts to help survivors. He pointed to the official local police response to high-profile cases of sexual assault on public transit, which asked women to “wear polite and proper clothing in public.”
Indonesia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Yet, according to a report submitted to the CEDAW committee in 2011, the Indonesian criminal code is inadequate for dealing with the realities of sexual violence. It has an outdated and narrow definition of rape and according to Pane most perpetrators receive less than a year in prison if convicted. 
Compiled from: INDONESIA: Struggling to survive sexual violence, IRIN (10 April 2012).