Indonesian Women Lack Protection Against Domestic Violence

Indonesian retired judge Deliana Sayuti Ismundjoko claims women in her nation are still subjected to domestic violence due to failure on the part of law enforcers to regard the complaints of women as legitimate pleas for protection against a violent spouse. Her National Commission on Violence Against Women has conducted seminars for police, prosecutors and judges to make them aware of issues confronting women in families where the husband uses violence against them. The Women’s Legal Aid Foundation believes, “some 10 percent of violence victims reporting their cases in criminal lawsuits were accused of being perpetrators instead, and some of them even ended up as defendants.” There is a strong bias among prosecutors against women in cases of domestic violence. Indonesian law does not allow a judge in divorce cases or disputes over inheritance to allow issues of domestic violence to be considered.

Although domestic violence is a serious issue in Indonesia, this nation’s attitude toward women stands in sharp contrast with that of Saudi Arabia which denies women basic rights such as having control over their personal lives. The recent case in which the King of Saudi Arabia “pardoned” a rape victim for getting raped is not possible in the Muslim nation of Indonesia which is moving steadily toward a democratic society.