Police in Jakarta have arrested a man accused of murdering his wife and setting his own house on fire, which has left his five-year-old child, who he left inside during the blaze, severely injured.
According to the police, the suspect, identified as Jumharyono, came home to his house in Kramat Jati subdistrict in East Jakarta at 1am today. The police say they have reason to believe that he then committed his crimes after his wife refused to have sex with him.
“At the time [of his arrest], the suspect was butt naked, whereas his wife still had her nightgown on. There’s reason to believe that the wife didn’t want to [have sex], and that’s why he hit her in the face with a rock and stabbed her.”
The police say that after Jumharyono killed his wife, he set fire to their bed in order burn their house down and to get rid of her body. But the fire, which spread to other rooms in the house, did not touch the wife’s dead body. Instead, Jumharyono’s small child, who was asleep at the time, suffered severe burn wounds.
“[The child] suffered burn wounds to 80% of his body. His face and his back are all burned,” Nurdin said.
Neighbors saved the child from the fire and apprehended Jumharyono before turning him in to the police. The suspect is still being interrogated by police today and no specific charges against him have yet been announced.
Over the past few weeks, there have been several highly disturbing cases of domestic violence in Indonesia, all of which were arguably instigated by the belief that a husband should have ownership over his wife’s body. In early July, a Jakarta man slit his wife’s throat, in front of their young child, because she refused to have sex with him. A week later, a woman attacked her husband with an ax because he kept forcing her to have sex with him.
Women’s rights activists have been pushing the government to pass the Elimination of Sexual Violence Bill, which would enforce harsher punishments for perpetrators of gender-based violence and provides greater protections for victims of crimes such as marital rape. However, conservative activists and politicians have fought to block the bill by framing it as being permissive towards sex outside of marriage and supporting LGBT rights.