Nearly 350,000 cases of violence against women were reported in 2017, according to an annual report by the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan), published on Wednesday (07/03). (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Violence Against Women Increased 25% Last Year: Komnas Perempuan


MARCH 08, 2018

Jakarta. The number of reported cases of violence against women increased by 25 percent last year, according to an annual report by the National Commission on Violence against Women, or Komnas Perempuan.

According to the report, a large proportion of the 348,446 cases involved incest and cyber-violence.

"Violence against women increasingly varies and takes place across multiple spaces, while preventive and management systems move rather slowly," Komnas Perempuan commissioner Thaufiek Zulbahary said at a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday (07/03).

Of the reported cases, 41 percent involved physical abuse, 31 percent sexual abuse, 15 percent psychological abuse and 13 percent economic abuse.

Mariana Amiruddin, another Komnas Perempuan commissioner, said the increase may not necessarily indicate in increase in cases of violence against women, but that more victims may be willing to come forward.

"Komnas Perempuan sees that the higher number of cases of violence against women indicate more courage among victims to report what has happened to them," Mariana said.

Jakarta had the biggest number of cases last year with 1,999, while East Java and West Java had the second- and third-most reported cases with 1,536 and 1,460, respectively.

The report noted that 71 percent of reported cases took place in a private or domestic setting, followed by 26 percent in a public setting.

In the private sphere, 5,167 cases involved violence against spouses, 2,227 against young girls and 1,873 against unmarried partners.

"In 2017, we recorded a higher number of violence against young girls compared with the year before," Mariana said, referring to the 1,799 cases reported in 2016.

The commission emphasizes in the report that a rising number of cases involving violence against young girls reflects decreasing safety in households. It said guidance and protection of young girls is crucial to ensure that such cases are reported whenever they occur.

Komnas Perempuan said this year's edition of the report, which has been published annually since 2001, took into account several new aspects, such as cyber-violence against women.

Based on reports made directly to the commission, there were 98 such cases reported last year. This mainly involved online harassment and the spread of private, or "illegal" content on social media or pornographic websites.

"Cyber-violence has surfaced on a massive scale, but we're still lacking in reporting and handling this. Cyber-violence imposes on the lives of women who are often victimized more than once, and can affect them their entire lives," the commission said in a statement.

On sexual violence in the private sphere, the report also noted there were 1,210 cases of incest.

"The number of incest cases shows perpetrators of sexual violence are usually the closest to the victims; usually those with family relations," the report said.

Most cases categorized as incest were committed by fathers and uncles, according to the report.