Dhaka, Bangladesh
Two perspectives on crime against women

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Two perspectives on crime against women

While commenting on the functioning of the ICC, a lawyer handling such cases opined that, “most of the time, there is a lack of coordination between the complaints committee and the personnel or disciplinary authority, which results in lesser punishment or even acquittal of the offender.” Archana Datta | New Delhi | July 29, 2019 1:33 pm Two perspectives on crime against women, Baiq Nuril, Komnas Perempuan, Sonia Sarkar #MeToo created ripples in urban India and many untold stories of sexual abuse tumbled out from the world of cinema, sports and media, with the fallout of a few court cases. (Representational Image: iStock) Some time ago, news about a 37- year old Indonesian schoolteacher, Baiq Nuril, a victim of sexual harassment, being jailed and fined drew media attention. Nuril was found guilty for ‘violating decency’ under the country’s electronic information and transactions law for recording a telephonic call from her head-teacher as evidence against unwanted sexual advances. Shocking? Yes, indeed! It compelled an outraged Indonesian women’s rights activist to blurt out that it is “a great disincentive for Indonesian women to come forward… share their stories of harassment… there is no adequate law to protect them, instead they are blamed…” The latest report of Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan or KP), revealed that gender-based violence took an upward turn by 25 per cent in 2017. A life experience survey of Indonesian women in 2016 also brought to light that one in three or 33.4 per cent of them (between 15 and 64 years) during their lifetime experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Many women’s rights activists felt that the the existing criminal code (KUHP) is deficient in covering all the fifteen types of sexual violence outlined by the Komnas Perempuan( KP). The 2018 KP report criticised the code for its “outdated definition of rape and the prosecution process”. In Indonesia, most of the victimised women desist from approaching law-enforcement agencies, and tend to believe that “the police often doubt their complaints… ask unsympathetic questions…” In 2017, a police chief surmised that “in the rape interrogation, the most important question is whether the victim felt comfortable during the experience”. Not surprising that a recent survey revealed that 93 per cent of rape victims chose not to file a report with the police, of those who did, only 1 per cent saw the case end in a conviction.

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