The Indonesian parliament has passed a meaningful law on sexual violence

The Indonesian parliament has passed a meaningful law on sexual violence

The Indonesian parliament has passed a meaningful law on sexual violence. The Indonesian House of Representatives has passed the long-awaited law on intimate violence, which aims to make it easier to initiate problems and help victims seek justice in a country where intimate violence is often thought of as an individual problem. 

Most lawmakers backed the law in parliament's plenary stage, defeating opposition from some conservative groups in the world's most Muslim country after 6 years of deliberations.

"We hope that this law will solve the problem of intimate violence," said MP Puan Maharani.

Activists have largely welcomed the law, although some have opposed its limited scope, as it covers only a handful of intimate crimes and rape disappearances. The government says the rapes were covered by an overhaul of the criminal code that is currently in the works.

"This is definitely a step forward."

“This is definitely a step forward,” said Asfinawati, a Jenter College legal expert who accompanies victims of intimate violence, adding that rape should be included in the law.

In Indonesia, complaints of intimate violence are increasing, while the prosecution of intimate crimes is complicated without special laws. Activists say the victims' fears that they will be humiliated during interrogations have restricted many people from having dialogue.

Civil society organizations say it is meaningful to look at how the authorities enforce the law. 

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