Twenty-two students from Udayana University have come forward as survivors of sexual violence on campus, as shown in a recent investigation by the Indonesian Women’s Union (SERUNI Bali), which also revealed a lack of mechanisms to protect victims at the prestigious college.
In a statement, SERUNI Bali said they received reports of sexual violence from 22 students since July 11. Suspected perpetrators include professors, fellow students, and university staff, with the forms of violence ranging from rape to sexual assault, sexual intimidation, and online gender-based violence.
SERUNI Bali also identified a number of factors contributing to sexual violence happening around Udayana and outside of it, such as rape culture and victim blaming, and condemned the university dean for “the campus’ neglect in providing protection and ensuring rights for the victims.”
“SERUNI Bali fiercely condemns the non-existence of protection for victims of sexual violence in Udayana University,” the statement reads.
Despite rising cases of sexual violence at the university, there has yet to be a legal framework to protect the victim’s rights or to punish the perpetrators, SERUNI Bali said.
The union is further urging the dean of Udayana University to issue regulations on preventing and handling sexual violence on campus, while further calling on the Indonesian government to pass the Eradication of Sexual Violence Bill (RUU-PKS).
Indonesians have started to pay more attention to cases of sexual violence on campus in the past couple of years, following the viral case of a student from Gadjah Mada University (UGM), whose pseudonym is Agni, and the university’s disturbing handling of the incident.
Many more survivors have spoken up since then, revealing a deeply entrenched problem in higher education institutions across the country, where universities fail to protect victims of sexual violence.