After six long years of deliberation, Indonesia passed a bill tackling sexual violence, to help victims of sexual assault build strong cases and secure convictions – a long-awaited decision hailed as a step in the right direction by human rights organizations.
“We hope that the implementation of this law will resolve sexual violence cases,” says house speaker Puan Maharani.
The current bill includes extended prison terms — up to 12 years for crimes of physical sexual abuse, within and outside of marriage, 15 years for sexual exploitation, nine years for forced marriage, including child marriage and marriage between rapists and their victims, and four years for circulating non-consensual sexual content. If rape is not yet covered, a revision of the criminal code is currently underway. The legislation was first proposed 10 years ago by the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) and civil society groups.