The brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl earlier this year shocked Indonesia and brought the issue of systemic violence against women into the spotlight. However, the results of a new survey show that the amount of sex-based crimes that are currently being reported to authorities may just be the tip of the iceberg.
The survey, conducted by Lentera Sintas Indonesia and Magdalene.com in cooperation with Change.org, showed that out of the 1,636 respondents who had been raped, 93% had chosen not to report the crime to police.
Out of the 6% of respondents who did report their crime to authorities, only 1% said that their attacker had actually been punished by the legal system.
The chairperson of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), Azriana R.M., said the survey showed that those victims of sexual assaults did not trust Indonesian authorities to help them find justice.
“This is perhaps caused by the poor performance of law enforcement agencies in investigating cases of sexual violence. It should give a strong message to law enforcement agencies to seriously investigate cases of sexual abuses and harassment to their conclusion,” Azriana said at a press conference announcing the results of the survey last Thursday.
The anonymous survey was held during the month of June and involved 25,213 respondents, including 12,812 women, 12,389 men and 10 transgendered individuals.
In total 1,636 people reported they had been raped, including 62.8% of women, 37.1% of men and 0.1% of transgender respondents. And only 28% of rape victims said they had told anybody, including friends or family, about the crime
Another shocking statistic from the survey is that about 2 out of every 3 respondents who reported that they had been sexually assaulted were under 18 years of age when the crime occurred.
The survey was conducted as part of the #MulaiBicara or #TalkAboutIt campaign to raise public awareness about sexual violence.
The Indonesian Government passed a bill legalizing for harsher punishments, including castration and the death penalty, against those who committed acts of sexual violence towards children. But many activists say that legislators have still failed to address the larger problem of sexual violence in the whole of society.