“I was threatened, I have injuries, mental wounds too, so ladies and gentlemen, please immediately pass the law that protects us (the Criminal Act of Sexual Violence, ed)!” said little Siti (not her real name) innocently while playing with her fingers.
This video of Siti’s testimony, who is a child victim of sexual violence, was played on the sidelines of the Istighosah Kubro and Pray Together for the safety of the nation from conditions that were considered an emergency of sexual violence on Tuesday (15/12/2021) night.
This event was held by KUPI (Congress of Indonesian Women Ulama) in response to the urgency of handling cases of sexual violence. The event, which was held online, was attended by hundreds of participants from all over Indonesia, with the hope of being able to open up the repertoire of participants about the urgency of stopping sexual violence.
“That sexual crime will remain a sexual crime, whoever the perpetrator is and wherever it is,” said one of the speakers.
The revelation of several cases of sexual violence by perpetrators wearing religious robes shocked the public and made them wonder, how did this happen? However, it is suspected that cases of sexual violence in religious-based institutions have existed for a long time.
It is the convergence of media and the acceleration of information that makes many cases of sexual violence finally exposed and then known to the public.
The lack of legal protection is often experienced by victims of sexual violence in the scope of Islamic boarding schools and other religious-based educational institutions. Religious narratives are almost always used in every defense of immoral acts committed by alleged perpetrators, most of whom are educators, ustad, or managers of Islamic boarding schools.
In this event, KUPI also shared a statement of attitude towards the current situation. KUPI in its statement urges the government to carry out its function and mandate to protect all people, including victims of sexual violence.
The state is asked to side with the victims and provides justice for the victims.
KUPI was established, one of which was triggered by inequality. Equality of women and men in religion is also very rarely discussed. There is also very little coverage of female clerics, and it is not balanced with male clerics.
KUPI sees this gender inequality as one thing that should be eliminated. In scholars, opinions must be heard, because in many cases the experiences of women can be very different from those of men. The role of prophethood cannot be separated from the contribution of women.
So it is appropriate if women are valued and treated equally as men. Women have the right to receive proper protection and to have their opinions heard. Just like Islam views women with respect.
Violence in Islamic Boarding Schools, Is it Really Rising or Just Revealed?
Sexual harassment in Islamic boarding schools is not a new topic. However, Islamic boarding schools tend to be closed, so cases of violence in Islamic boarding schools are not widely disclosed to the public.
Reluctance and taboos in discussing sexuality are some of the gaps that are often used by irresponsible actors to launch actions for various reasons.
Several habits that are often experienced by students, especially students who are normalized. Sexual harassment can also occur in male students. Male students also have an equally high risk of facing the threat of sexual violence.
The assumption of weakness and vulnerability of masculinity is also one of the reasons why not many students speak up.
Pesantren, which should be a safe space for children, are being used by some people in religious robes. The case that was recently revealed in Cilacap is proof that anyone can be a victim of sexual violence, and anyone has the potential to be a perpetrator.
There is also the case in Cibiru, Bandung where the head of a boarding school committed sexual violence against dozens of his students. Where in launching the action which has been going on since 2016, the perpetrator manipulated the victim. This case is still rolling in the Bandung City 1A class court.
Previously, a similar case also occurred in Jombang, where dozens of students held a solidarity action for justice for victims of sexual violence. Although the perpetrator has been named a suspect, he is still walking free. The perpetrator, who is the son of a major ulama figure in the Jombang Regency, is the reason for this condition.
This fact should be enough to open the eyes of interested parties. It is time for religious institutions to accept the fact that crimes against humanity also occur in their environment.
Sexual violence is a crime against humanity that causes the dehumanization of victims, most of whom are women and children.
According to VAW (Violence Against Women) data, at least 8 people experience rape every day.
From the data compiled by VAW from July 1 to 31, 2020, 424 cases that appeared on social media. Meanwhile, the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) noted that in the 2016-2020 period, 1,174 children who were victims of sexual violence. If broken down, this figure means that 1 in 11 girls experience sexual violence, and 1 in 17 boys experience sexual violence.
Komnas Perempuan data also states that out of 17,940 cases of sexual violence, 52% were rape. Allegedly, many cases of sexual violence are not reported for various reasons. Low legal protection and the absence of a safe space for victims are the main reasons why victims choose to remain silent.
Therefore, KUPI in its statement of position pushed for the ratification of the PKS Bill (Draft of the Protection of Sexual Violence Law). Only to protect the victims and uphold justice.