July 10, 2020, 01.10 AM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The House of Representatives has decided to further postpone another deliberation of Indonesia’s long-anticipated Sexual Violence Bill (RUU PKS) despite the growing number of sexual violence cases.

On July 1, Indonesia’s legislature removed the bill from its Priority National Legislation Program 2020 list amid rising cases of violence against women and children in the country since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Indonesia’s tolerance of sexual violence makes it difficult to pass the sexual violence bill, based on research conducted by Sri Wiyanti Eddyono, chair of the Gadjah Mada University’s (UGM) Law, Gender, and Society Study Center. 

In Indonesian, there is a culture in which sexual violence is viewed as nothing out of the ordinary, according to Sri.

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“We have to admit that the culture of sexual violence is still very strong. Because sexual violence is viewed as something normal, it is treated as something unimportant or rather, tolerated,” said Sri.

This deep-rooted culture of tolerating sexual violence is apparent even at the government level, including at Indonesia’s House of Representatives, said Sri.

It is a culture that looks upon sexual violence as a violation of moral values instead of a crime punishable by law, she added.

This has made deliberations of the bill complex, turning it into a debate on perspectives.

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