Komnas Perempuan Again Highlights the Strength of Rape Stigma & Lack of Reproductive Education

In a discussion to commemorate Sexual Health Day, Komnas Perempuan Commissioner Retty Rahmawati said that in the last five years, from 2016 to 2020, her agency recorded 24,786 cases of sexual violence consisting of various types.

From this figure, rape cases alone were 7,344 or 29.6 percent.

Rape cases occur in the public or community and private spheres. Ironically, the perpetrators are now not only strangers but also those closest to the victim.

From the data collected with Komnas Perempuan partners, it is known that since 2017 there have been cases of forced abortions.

“Indeed, if you look at the data, it may not be much. But if we look at direct complaints to Komnas Perempuan in the last five years, there have been 107 cases (forced abortion). Indeed, we do not separate abortions for what reasons. Some are due to rape and others,” said Retty.

Pregnancy, which is the most frequent impact of rape, often creates its own problems that have a broad impact on changes in social relations due to strong stigma, economic factors, loss of right to education or loss of life. This is because many victims are shrouded in depression, which if they do not get immediate help, it will potentially make the victim commit acts of violence against himself, including suicide.

According to Retty, rape victims who have abortions tend to be criminalized because abortion is prohibited by law or the Criminal Code (KUHP). Even if the victim manages to have an abortion, she often feels uncomfortable with the situation. Whereas victims of sexual violence actually have the right to health services, including safe abortion services.

Komnas Perempuan calls on the Ministry of Health to designate safe abortion service facilities for rape victims.

An abortion and family planning clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska, USA.  (Photo: illustration)

An abortion and family planning clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska, USA. (Photo: illustration)

The Urgency of Reproductive Health Education

In the discussion, an obstetrician who is also the President of ASPIRE – an Asia Pacific reproductive medicine organization – Prof. Budi Wiweko said that his party pays great attention to reproductive health because it is related to family planning; which is an important factor for achieving the SDGs (short term development goals).

He added that in 2015 the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon emphasized that every woman is every child, saving every woman means saving every child. Therefore, he emphasized that reproductive health must be physically, mentally and socially healthy.

Women activists stage a demonstration against sexual harassment and violence against women, in Jakarta.  (Photo: doc./AFP)

Women activists stage a demonstration against sexual harassment and violence against women, in Jakarta. (Photo: doc./AFP)

“Sometimes social reproductive health is not achieved, especially for women. This includes satisfaction and safety in sexual life, reproductive capability, freedom to decide, and so on. So reproductive justice is aimed at nurturing children in a safe and healthy environment,” said Budi .

Budi suggested to the government to build a reproductive clinic for both girls and boys; while providing reproductive health education for both genders.

Until this report was submitted, Mouab had not succeeded in requesting a response from the Ministry of Health. [fw/em]

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