Sexual violence must not be underestimated: ministry

Sexual violence must not be underestimated: ministry

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Jakarta (ANTARA) – Sexual violence, which can happen anywhere, including on campus and in the work environment, must not be underestimated as that can negatively affect victims, Inspector General of the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry has said.

“The impact of violence, specifically sexual violence, cannot be ignored,” Chatarina Muliana stressed at a seminar held to mark the 51st anniversary of the Indonesian Civil Servant Corps, which was streamed online on Monday.

“This is because it causes victims to feel insulted, intimidated, ashamed, afraid, and makes them lose work motivation,” she added.

Victims of sexual violence can experience symptoms of depression and feel like there is no hope in the future, she said.

“We are also handling a few cases; some of them do not even want to go to college anymore. Imagine that their future can be cut short and they can no longer help their families,” she added.

Meanwhile, sexual violence in the workplace would constitute an unhealthy and unsafe work environment and thereby, reduce work motivation. Sexual violence creates not only fear, but also tarnishes the image of companies, she said.

According to Article 5 of the Education, Culture, Research and Technology Minister’s Regulation No. 5 of 2021, there are 21 forms of sexual violence, Muliana noted.

These forms include speech that is discriminatory or directed at physical appearance or flirtatious speech. They also cover peeking or intentionally looking at victims as they conduct personal activities.

They also include giving punishments with sexual nuance; touching, rubbing, holding, hugging, and/or kissing victims without consent; and rape as well as attempt to rape.

Meanwhile, Law No. 12 of 2021 outlines 19 forms of sexual violence.

These include physical and non-physical violence, forced contraception, electronic-based sexual violence, rape, obscenity, child sex and pornography, forced prostitution, and sexual violence within the household.

When someone experiences sexual violence, people around the victim should hear their story intently without judgment, support them, and report the incident to the authorities.

Within the ministries and institutions, there have been several efforts to handle sexual violence cases, namely through criminal proceedings based on the Sexual Violence Crime Law (UU TPKS) and the Criminal Code and Pornography Law besides administrative penalty, Muliana informed.

The ministry expects policies that encourage violence prevention to be formulated by the leadership and response teams formed by involving the sexual violence task force.

It is also hoping for the creation of SOPs (standard operating procedures) for the prevention and handling of sexual violence and the dissemination of the SOPs to all employee teams, she said.

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