It has been four years since the sexual assault case that happened to Agni (not his real name) emerged to the public. Agni is a student at Gadjah Mada University (UGM) who experienced sexual violence while carrying out the Real Work Lecture (KKN) program from her campus. The case eventually became the trigger for a number of reports of sexual violence that occurred on campus in Indonesia.
The existence of the Agni case was followed by reports of other sexual violence cases. The latest is now happening at the University of Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) campus, where recently a student was dishonorably dismissed by the campus because of his involvement in a sexual assault case.
UMY Chancellor Prof. Dr. Ir. Gunawan Budiyanto read out the dismissal decision on Thursday (5/1) at the local campus. UMY assessed that the student activist with the initials MKMT was proven and admitted that he had committed immoral acts. According to campus rules, the act is declared a student discipline and ethical violation in the category of serious violation.
“In connection with the examination that has been carried out by the Student Ethics and Disciplinary Committee, the Chancellor of UMY decided to give the MKMT a maximum sanction, which is to be permanently dismissed with disrespect,” said Gunawan in an official explanation session to the media in Yogyakarta.
UMY itself has regulated immoral acts in Article 8 of the Rector’s Regulation number 017/PR-UMY/XI/2021 concerning Discipline and Ethics of UMY Students.
In its investigation, the Student Ethics and Disciplinary Committee also found that the number of victims was more than one.
In addition to giving sanctions to the perpetrators, the campus has also promised support to the victims in the form of providing legal and psychological assistance, and is committed to expanding the network of committees and task forces related to sexual violence issues.
Rows of Emerging Cases
The case of sexual violence at UMY is just one of many other cases that have been revealed. Late last year, a similar case also occurred at the University of Riau. At that time a student reported sexual harassment that she experienced by the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (FISIP) at the campus.
The harassment, according to the student, occurred when the thesis guidance process was in progress.
A number of campus names have finally appeared on the list of campus environments that are vulnerable to sexual violence in 2021. At least from a number of recorded cases, the names of campuses such as Sriwijaya University, Jakarta State University, and the Kediri State Islamic Institute (IAIN) are included in the list. the campus.
The Bali Legal Aid Institute (LBH) also has very concerning data regarding sexual violence on campus. They received 45 reports from female students suspected of being victims of immoral acts, with 42 female victims from Udayana University and three female students from Warmadewa University.
These cases were revealed in a relatively uniform pattern in which case disclosures emerged from the information disclosed by accounts on social media, which then finally got the attention of the public.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) did not remain silent in responding to the situation. Mendikbudristek Nadiem Makarim has issued Permendikbud Number 30 of 2021, concerning the Prevention and Handling of Sexual Violence (PPKS) in Higher Education, as an initial step to overcome sexual violence that occurs in the campus environment which he calls has become a pandemic.
“The next target is that this year all universities in Indonesia have a Task Force for the prevention and handling of sexual violence. And I heard that many campuses immediately followed up and held discussions to dissect the contents of this regulation,” said Nadiem in the presentation of Public Attitudes towards the TPKS Bill and the Ministerial Regulation on the Prevention of Sexual Violence, as a result of research by the SMRC survey institute, on Monday (10/1).
In 2020, the Ministry of Education and Culture has conducted a survey on 79 campuses in 29 cities in Indonesia regarding sexual violence in universities. The survey found data, 77 percent of lecturers admitted that sexual violence had occurred on campus. Meanwhile, 63 percent of cases of sexual violence were never reported, on the grounds of protecting the good name of the campus. The number of women who are victims of sexual violence on campus reaches 90 percent, while the rest are men.
Complicated Law Enforcement
The lawyer who is also the former Director of LBH Palembang, Taslim SH, admitted that the legal process for sexual violence cases is not simple. One of the challenges in resolving these cases is that not all victims are willing to disclose the acts of sexual violence they have experienced.
“We need reinforcements and make people aware of them, to have the courage to speak. This is sometimes the case, the victim is shy or shy. It takes close people to convince the person concerned. Provide reinforcement,” said Taslim.
On campus, the tendency of female students who are victims is not willing to report sexual violence that has happened to them. In this case, said Taslim, there is a power relation problem, especially if the perpetrator is a lecturer. The student who is the victim is afraid that if she reports it will have an impact on the lecture process she is currently undergoing.
According to Taslim, the community’s stigma towards victims of sexual violence has made victims reluctant to reveal the cases they experienced. In addition, the threat of lawsuits in the form of defamation that may be carried out by the perpetrators further puts the position of the victim into a corner.
“Actually, if the investigators want to be serious, they can be proven. For example, the question of the victim’s confession is added with instructions on where it happened,” said Taslim.
Sexual assault cases also have a time limit. In Indonesia, he continued, there are only six months since the incident for the victim to report the perpetrator to the police. If the deadline is passed, there is a possibility that the report will not be processed.
Don’t Wear Horse Glasses
Baharuddin Kamba from the police monitoring agency, Jogja Police Watch, has one voice with Taslim in stating that the legal process for sexual violence cases is not easy. At least, the Agni case at UGM which was later resolved non-litigation could be an example. There are also many other cases that are not even reported, or if processed, end in a peace agreement.
One element that is very difficult to prove in cases of sexual violence is coercion or threats. In Indonesia’s criminal law system, said Kamba, the Criminal Code states that if there is an element of consensual consent in a sexual act, then the element of coercion or threat is not present or is eliminated. Moreover, in cases of sexual violence on campus, both the perpetrator and the victim are considered adults, so they are considered responsible for what they do.
“But that’s for those who have a horse’s perspective. Have no perspective on the victim,” added Kamba.
The victim’s perspective, he continued, can be applied when law enforcement does not fully rely on the fact that coercion is possible in cases of sexual violence. There should be no suspicion that the action was consensual. Although it is very difficult, the elements of threats and coercion can serve as evidence, in addition to the victims themselves. Kamba also asked law enforcers to understand the power relation between the perpetrator and the victim, which is usually unequal, so that victims tend not to fight back when acts of sexual violence are committed.
If you don’t want to grapple with deadlock in cases of sexual violence, Kamba added, Indonesia must immediately ratify the Sexual Violence Criminal Act (TPKS) immediately. [ns/rs]