Jakarta. The number of gang rape cases has increased since 2015, Witness and Victim Protection Agency, or LPSK, and child rights watchdog report.
According to National Commission on Child Protection (Komnas PA) chairman Arist Merdeka Sirait, gang rapes are most often recorded in war-torn countries, their occurrence in Indonesia is therefore staggering.
"The rape of Yy in Bengkulu involved 14 rapists, the one in Samarinda involved 13, the one in Semarang — 14," Arist said in a seminar, "Kala Kekerasan Seksual Mengancam Anak-Anak Kita" ("When Sexual Violence Threatens Our Children"), hosted by LPSK in Jakarta on Wednesday (29/03).
In 2015, 44 gang rape cases were reported; nine victims died. Last year the number was almost double, with 82 incidents recorded.
The first months of 2017 have already seen 26 gang rapes, in which three victims succumbed to their injuries.
According to Arist, 16 percent of the perpetrators were children aged 14 or less. Most of the rapists acted under the influence of narcotics and alcohol. Many were porn-addicts.
The lack of understanding of what constitutes sexual violence and weak law enforcement, especially toward underage offenders, add to the peril.
Since juvenile offenders cannot be jailed for more than 10 years, Komnas PA requests that the judges sentence in accordance with the Law No. 17 of 2016, which for all convicted sex offenders demands a minimum 10-year prison term and chemical castration.
Child Sexual Abuse
Pedophilia has also taken its toll. Indonesia appears to be one of the "pedophiles' paradises," Arist said, especially Bali, Jakarta and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.
"Komnas PA keeps encouraging mothers not to post photos of their children on social media because they can attract pedophiles. Indonesia is still permissive. Sexual violence is only regarded as such when penetration occurs," he added.
LPSK chairman Abdul Haris Semendawai highlighted the need for more stakeholders to get involved to fight sexual offences against children.
"LPSK is ready to work with other parties, including Komnas PA, because our task is to provide the necessary medical and psychological assistance to the victims," he said.
He added that law enforcers should be careful in handling child sexual abuse cases, as questionings often add to the victims' prolonged anguish.
Alarming Increase in Gang Rape Cases, Child Sexual Abuse in Indonesia Mar 31 2017Tweet
Brutal school rape in Maryland sparked outrage 30 marzo 2017