1 Introduction

Over the past two years, media headlines in Indonesia have been repeatedly filled with reports of sexual violence. In June 2021, news reports surfaced that Herry Wirawan, a teacher and an owner of the Madani religious boarding school in Bandung, West Java, had raped 13 girls aged 12 to 16 and fathered eight babies from those rapes.1

The case came to light when one of the victims showed visible signs of pregnancy. After several days of not wanting to eat or drink due to her trauma, the victim confided. A family member reported the case to the West Java Regional Police, accompanied by a lawyer friend from Garut (Lestari 2022). Due to the seriousness of the issue, it soon became apparent that Herry Wirawan could expect severe punishment. On 15 February 2022, the Bandung High Court sentenced Herry Wirawan to life imprisonment. However, the victims’ families were not satisfied with this sentence because they considered it too lenient. They, instead, demanded the death verdict for the offender. When the decision was taken on 04 April 2022 to increase Herry Wirawan’s sentence to the death penalty, these families were relieved. Yudi Kurnia, a lawyer representing the victim’s families at the Bandung High Court said, “This is in accordance with the expectations of the victims’ families because it has fulfilled their sense of justice and exploited the maximum scope of the rules” (Rezkisari 2022).

Herry Wirawan’s case has accelerated the long rocky road to the approval of the Sexual Violence Bill (Undang-Undang Tindak Pidana Kekerasan Seksual, UU TPKS),2 which comprises 93 paragraphs and recognises the following forms of sexual violence: sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, forced contraception, forced abortion, rape, forced marriage, forced prostitution, sexual slavery and/or sexual torture. Following the case reports, Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, spoke out in January 2022, demanding that the Indonesian Parliament (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) now pass the Sexual Violence Bill. This demand reflects regulatory zeal3 expressed in the President’s determination to show his political will to crack down more severely than before on sex offenders in Indonesia and to end the ten-year delay of the Sexual Violence Bill.

A significant reason why it took ten years from the initial efforts of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) for the law to take effect on 09 May 2022 was the influence of conservative forces. The Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, PKS) played a key role because it blocked the law until 14 April 2022, when the parliament finally passed it. Their main argument was that it fails to punish adultery, free sex and LGBTQ +,4 which are forbidden in Islam and thus do not comply with Islamic norms.

This chapter is innovative in the following ways. First, it sets out to build on and further develop the insights from two strands of scholarly literature, (a) on how cultural and institutional factors foster sexual violence, (Buchwald et al. 2005; Harding 2015; Mack et al. 2018; Troost 2008), paying particular attention to Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and (b) on normative values, Islam, gender and power relations in Indonesia (Bennett 2007; Schröter 2013; Parker 2008; Bennett and Davies 2015).

Second, it provides new insights into the following: How have cultural and institutional factors in Indonesia reinforced sexual violence from the perspective of advocates and supporters of the Sexual Violence Bill? How have gender justice activists and progressive religious scholars (ulama) advocated for the Sexual Violence Bill? The activists and ulama we zoom in on are from Komnas Perempuan (National Commission on Violence against Women), KPAI (Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia; Indonesian Child Protection Commission, the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), KPI (Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia, Indonesian Women’s Coalition) and KUPI (Kongres Ulama Perempuan Indonesia, Congress of Indonesian Gender-Just Ulama). Methodologically, we base our analysis on interviews with ten gender justice activists and women ulama we carried out in May and June 2022, based on prior informed consent, and an analysis of documents coded with the qualitative data analysis software MAXQDA, including legal documents, news articles, and reports.5

2 Sexual Violence and Rape

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a serious global issue. In the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (1993), article 1 frames VAWG as, “Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life” (UN General Assembly 1993). An estimated 736 million women have endured physical and/or sexual violence, and nearly one in four adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have “experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or husband” (UN Women 2022). COVID-19, with its months-long lockdowns, confined families to their four walls, exacerbating domestic violence against women and girls (UN Women 2021).

A vital factor promoting sexual violence is the so-called “rape culture,” which academic texts have discussed in the wake of U.S. sexual violence cases. Buchwald et al. (2005, p. xi) frame it as follows, “A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women and presents it as the norm.” While terrorism may seem like an exaggerated term here, the quote suggests that sexual violence against women is possible at any time, as perpetrators strike suddenly, and women can therefore never feel completely safe. When alone in public after dark, women prepare for any attacks, armed with pepper spray due to the  unpredictability of physical and sexual violence. However, sexual violence is by no means limited to ominous foreign perpetrators because the majority of perpetrators come from the family environment. Even the husband, father or uncle can carry out “physical and emotional terrorism,” in the words of Buchwald et al. (2005, p. xi), by striking abruptly.

Harding (2015), who writes on sexual violence in a US-American context, points out how rape culture feeds the desire in people to investigate victim accounts for their wrongdoing that invited the violence instead of blaming the perpetrator. She shows that if faced with a media report about sexual violence against women, people will surely ask questions about the type of clothing the woman was wearing, how much alcohol she had been consuming, or if she was lying (Harding 2015, p. 4). As an essential part of rape culture, she shows that the victim is always forced to justify being accused of immoral acts or other wrong behaviour. At the same time, perpetrators tend to be protected.

Scholars have identified that oppression and control of the body as other key elements of rape culture. Toss (2008) points out that rape culture is permeated by oppression based on the idea of owning and subjugating the body of the other person:

Though the form and intensity vary, any oppression you care to name works at least in part by controlling or claiming ownership of the bodies of those oppressed—slavery and the prison-industrial complex being only the most extreme examples. In this sense, rape culture works by restricting a person`s control of hir6body, limiting hir sense of ownership of it, and granting others a sense of entitlement to it (Toss 2008, p. 171)

For a rape culture to be sustained, several conditions must be met, among others the creation, proliferation and perpetuation of rape myths. Rape myths, also referred to as the “engine of rape culture” (Harding 2015, p. 23), are identified as crucial in sustaining women’s exposure to sexual violence in the USA. To illustrate her point Harding draws on the classification of rape myths by Payne et al. (1999). According to this, rape is excused by the fact that the victim asked for it or wanted it or  perpetrators deny that it was rape. In addition, it is claimed that the perpetrator did not mean any harm, that the victim lied, or that rape is either a trivial or deviant event. Harding reveals that such weakening of the victim stems from the firm belief in a just world where a woman attracts rape due to her own wrongdoing or misbehaviour; otherwise, nothing would have happened. Rape myths thrive on the fact that people who are recognised as authorities circulate them, that traditional and digital media pick them up, legitimise and spread them.

We agree with the above scholars that the factors of entitlement to one’s own body and the trivialisation of the problem of sexual violence that they have highlighted are elements that promote sexual violence worldwide. However, we the term “rape culture” can seem catchy and exaggerated and we therefore prefer to speak of factors that promote rape. When looking at such factors more closely, as we show in the Islamic context in Indonesia, we also must consider religious classifications of “rape” and sexual deviance. We assume that the widespread idea that zina (adultery and fornication) and rape are conflated, as both are often seen as a form of sexual intercourse forbidden by Islam, has led to disputes over the understanding of sexual violence. This has prompted progressive ulama (religious scholars) to distinguish the terms sexual violence and zina from each other. A case in point is KUPI, which issued a fatwa against sexual violence, declaring that zina and rape are not the same, even though both are prohibited in Islam. Before examining KUPI’s perspective on the issue in more detail, it is crucial to shed light on the cultural and institutional factors contributing to the persistence of sexual violence in Indonesia.

3 Cultural Factors of Sexual Violence in Indonesia

Sexual violence is a serious problem in Indonesia. According to Komnas Perempuan, which launched an initial initiative to introduce the law 10 years ago, 338.496 cases were reported in 2021, a 50% increase from 2020 (Komnas Perempuan 2022). Ellen Kusuma, head of the Digital At-Risks sub-division at the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet), pointed out that these are not just numbers, but behind them are suffering people because protection has been minimal. She emphasised that often the victim’s perspective was not taken into account and power structures were not considered, which makes the handling of cases in Indonesia very complicated.7

To better understand the phenomenon of sexual violence in Indonesian religious schools, it is helpful to look at the role of cultural factors as Titiek Kartika pointed out. A Bengkulu-based gender studies scholar and long-time activist with the Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia (KPI), who was a member of the KPI national board from 2004 to 2009, she is now involved in a task force against sexual violence on campus. The creation of task forces on campus for the Prevention and Handling of Sexual Violence (PPKS) was prompted by the Permendikbud Regulation (Regulation of the Minister of Education and Culture) 30/2021. It requires higher education institutions to form campus task forces to counter sexual harassment among students, lecturers and administrative employees. She pointed out the dynamic nature of the culture surrounding sexual violence in Indonesia, indicating that progressive religious leaders should increase their efforts to address the problem. However, she also clarified that Indonesia is not a country that allows sexual violence, but that there are local cultures that sanction unwanted behaviour by men toward women:

There are many very good cultural examples, for example there are many cultures that have rules or local wisdom on how to respect, yes, family relationships, how to respect the families of their women, how to respect their partners. For example, if Monika has gone to Bali, for example, there is a village that is very clean, including being rated the world’s cleanest village, Penglipuran, for example. It’s funny that in that area there is a culture that if a man marries more than one woman, he is placed in a separate location from the community. So, actually there is a very specific local culture that has explicitly made a rule that if you commit violence or discrimination against women, you will get social sanctions.8

Penglipuran village, a traditional village in Bali, is rooted in Hindu traditions where polygamy is allowed, similar to Islam. Yet, according to their adat (local traditions), polygamy is prohibited. Titiek Kartika’s reference to this example reveals what Suartika (2018, p. 11) has referred to as the feminist position that “(…) conformance to monogamy may be seen as some recognition and protection to women from all kinds of domestic abuse,” while also pointing to the function of the practice to exert social control, among others.

This example shows that there are attempts to curb polygamy, but the connection to sexual violence can only be made indirectly at best. However, an important cultural factor that fosters sexual violence is the fact that talking openly about sexuality is taboo. It is not common to openly talk about sexuality in a school or family context, and sexual education is lacking in both. Khaerul Umam Noer, a lecturer at the Social and Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences at Muhammadiyah University Jakarta (UMJ), whose family manages many educational institutions, including pesantren, addresses the tabooing of sexual violence along with other cultural concepts. According to him, these are hormat (respect), berkah (blessing) and kualat (getting disasters, for instance, for being unkind to parents or teachers):

If a kiai or ustadz in a pesantren calls you as a santri–if we assume I am a kiai and I then I am calling my santri–we have a concept of hormat, we have a concept of berkah. If I refuse my kiai’s or ustadz’s request, there is another concept that is called kualat, to be afraid of kualat. There is the concern one’s life will not be blessed, the knowledge will not be useful. Why? Because I broke the teacher’s command. Now, this is one of the problems. When we talk about sexual violence in religious educational institutions, the concept is still very much ingrained. So, if for example a person - there are some cases that I heard. For example, sexual violence, so for example oral sex. That’s requested. There are some cases where a teacher asked his student to have oral sex with him. But then people can say: there’s no rape, it’s not anal sex, it’s just oral. It’s also a challenge that some people then tend to dismiss it: ah, it’s just that. Not something important to talk about. Or taboo. It’s taboo to talk about it.9

The downplaying of sexual services because they are not sexual intercourse is symptomatic of the trivialisation of non-consent to sex, as several of our interlocutors pointed out. The tabooing Khaerul Umam Noer has addressed in the context of pesantren also applies to the family environment. It is considered shameful (memalukan) to discuss sexual issues in the family openly, and sexuality has a negative connotation. For example, “free sexuality” (seks bebas), which is thought to emanate from Western countries and putting pubertal adolescents at risk, is considered sinful. Most notably, families and schools should protect minors from these negative influences by exercising authority and giving clear guidelines. Sex before marriage is considered a sin, as well as zina. In the wake of Indonesian heteronormativity, marriage is a central component of stable co-habitation between the sexes, the maintenance of morality and the guarantee of offspring.

According to prevailing norms, adolescent boys and girls should live a heterosexual life in marriage. As numerous scholars have observed, heterosexuality is the norm (Bennett 2007; Blackwood 2007; Parker 2008; Arnez 2013; Schröter 2013; Bennett and Davies 2015 for Indonesian citizens. Parker (2008), for example, speaks of a “sacred triangle of hetero-sexuality, marriage and reproduction,” the “ideal and the norm to which adolescents in Indonesia should aspire.” The ideal for adult women is to have a husband, live a morally good life and produce offspring. The foundations for the intense focus on heterosexuality were laid during the Soeharto government (1966–1998). The regime heavily regulated sexuality and propagated an ideology of “state ibuism” (state mothering), a term coined by Julia Suryakusuma (1988), which reduced women’s roles to children, the hearth and their husbands. The proselytising (da’wa) movement, which has spread from Arabic countries to Indonesia since the 1960s, increased the Islamization of everyday life, further promoting heteronormativity. However, the hegemony of heteronormativity does not mean there is no contestation about these norms in Indonesia. These norms have been challenged, for example, in local cultures where gender-crossing has been facilitated, such as bissu in Sulawesi (Davies 2007) or tombois and their girlfriends (Blackwood 2010). However, in line with “moral panic” discourses over “free sex” and sexual expression and identity, LGBTQ + or bissu have been considered “deviant.”

Instead, morally good behaviour for women and adolescent girls entails covering the intimate parts of the female body (aurat), dressing modestly and donning the veil (jilbab). “Moral panic” discourses have portrayed the adolescent female body as constantly at risk of being seduced due to potentially harmful Western influences and inviting male advances through inappropriate behaviour or dress. Teenage boys are supposed to know how to behave and not need to discuss emotional concerns, including those dealing with sexuality. Rita Pranawati, the Deputy Chairwoman of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI), when talking about the prevalence of sexual violence against boys, puts it like this: “Our cultural construction, our cultural norms will say that our boys are strong. For example, they do not need any information about reproductive health, but they become victims of sexual violence.”10

She also points out that this is due to a “low cultural expression” that is encouraged in families and the parents’ lacking concern for the emotional needs of their children. She attributes this to the unwillingness of parents to ask children about their emotional state after school; for example, the focus is on practical questions about grades and lunch rather than on emotional tensions at school.

4 Institutional Factors of Sexual Violence: Opacity of Secluded Spaces

Sexual violence persists in institutions, including religious schools, the military, the police and workplaces, both globally and locally (Armstrong et al. 2018; Smith and Freyd 2014). In recent years, many cases of sexual abuse in religious institutions around the world have come to light, despite those in charge trying to conceal the cases. A recent report suggested that priests and others associated with the church in France, for example, sexually abused 330,000 children, both boys and girls, over the last 70 years (Corbet 2021). In recent years, nuns and priests have increasingly reported sexual abuse cases, especially since Pope Francis issued a new church law in 2019 aimed at curbing the sex abuse crisis.

It has been stated that sexual violence is perpetuated in such institutions because of gender norms that justify the subjugation of supposedly weaker members of the population, women, indigenous peoples and minors of both sexes. In this context, Mack et al. point out that gender and violence as “mutually constituting forces” “institutionalise colonialism through the ongoing production of colonised subjectivity” (Mack et al. 2018, p. 96). We argue that the co-constitution of violence and gender is facilitated by a combination of the “opacity of secluded spaces,” unequal gender relations, asymmetrical power relations—for example, between students and teachers—and lacking institutional monitoring of sexual violence in religious schools.

By “the opacity of secluded spaces,” we intend to capture the tendency of some institutions to facilitate and sustain spatially and ideologically relatively closed systems to which the outside world has no or only minimal access. In contrast to recent research on sexualised violence in the church context in Germany, which uses the concept of “separate worlds” (“Separatwelten”) (Wirth et al. 2022), we favour “opacity of secluded spaces.” The concept of “separate worlds” as proposed by Wirth et al. emphasises the strict separation of different realms, in particular law and morality. They refer to the fact that church leaders in Germany have attempted to deal with cases of sexual abuse in accordance with applicable church law without publicising this. However, we are not concerned with the distinction between law and morality but with how these systems conceal what is happening within them. The term “opacity” emphasises the concealment of what occurs within these spaces created by systems such as religious boarding schools. It underscores the challenge of gaining insights into the occurrences within them, which can perpetuate conditions condusive to sexual violence. “Secluded spaces” highlights the physically and ideologically closed nature of these environments, where uneqal gender relations and asymmetrical power relations can foster sexual violence. Therefore, “the opacity of secluded spaces” encapsulates the lack of transparency and concrete character of what happens in these physically and ideologically closed systems, providing an enhanced understanding of the institutional factors contributing to sexual violence.

Unequal gender relations and asymmetrical power relations matter in religious schools where sexual violence cases have been reported. The power asymmetry in such religious schools is based on the hierarchy between religious authorities and children. Religious teachers have tremendous power because their instructions are not questioned and children are expected to obey them unconditionally. The position of children can be further weakened if parents do not support them. This is especially the case when parents send their children to such schools when they have rebelled and are to be brought to heel through a combination of religious instruction and school discipline. A recent incident of sexual abuse at a Christian school in Missouri, a US-American Mid-Western state, is a case in point. In 2007, a 14-year-old girl was sent to the Circle of Hope Girls’ Ranch because her father wanted a strict Christian education for his daughter. However, she was sexually abused by the school’s founding father and left with permanent damage (Salter 2022).

This case also illustrates the lack of monitoring that fosters sexual abuse cases in religious boarding schools. The school was opened after a 1982 state law had been passed that did not give the state any opportunity to monitor the religious schools but instead gave them many liberties. This lack of monitoring was also raised in the context of the sexual assault by Herry Wirawan on 13 girls at the Islamic boarding school in Bandung. According to information provided by Rita Pranawati,18 many pesantren are not registered and have, therefore, so far evaded the responsible Ministry of Religion.

5 Sexual Violence in Indonesian Institutions

Although most of Indonesia’s 278 million inhabitants are Muslim, Islam is not a state religion under the 1945 Constitution. Nevertheless, the tenet of the first pillar of Indonesian state philosophy, the Pancasila, is “belief in the one almighty God.” This importance of religion in daily life is also reflected in research findings. According to Tamir et al. (2020), Indonesians are among the most religious people in the world, with 96 percent of respondents saying that belief in God is crucial for morality and good values.

We have argued above that violence and gender are co-constituted and that a combination of the opacity of secluded spaces, unequal gender relations, asymmetrical power relations and lack of monitoring facilitate sexual violence in institutions. We now go on to show how these aspects matter for pesantren. These institutions are usually cut off in several ways: parents do not have access to it, except for visiting hours, and they can only talk to their children through a teacher. The spaces where classes are held, where prayers are recited and where students sleep are generally not visible to the outside world. Unequal gender and power relations apply in several respects. Most pesantren are male-dominated institutions where what male authorities say counts, even though there are also pesantren led by nyai (female leaders of pesantren), who are persons of respect. One of these elements is the control over the appearance of the santri. As Nancy Smith-Hefner (2019, p. 107) writes: “(…) female santri continue to be taught that they must be careful not to dress or behave in a way that would attract the male gaze and lead men to sinful thoughts.”

Patterns of sexual violence between teachers and students tend to be reproduced at the inter-student level. While sexual violence against male pesantren leaders and teachers have been reported, the factors mentioned above that encourage sexual violence also lead students to force fellow students into unwanted sexual practices. For example, rooms that are reliably empty at certain times because students are praying at the time are used for such purposes, often between boys. Unequal power relations based on the different social economic statuses of the students also promote sexual exploitation.11

Andy Yentriani, the chairwoman of Komnas Perempuan, said in an interview on 06 May 2022 that 70 percent of the victims do not report their cases: “Based on the Komnas Perempuan study in 2020 regarding rape, as a form of sexual violence, 70 percent of these victims did not report the case. They may be embarrassed, or they did not report out of fear.”12 In an interview carried out with Rita Pranawati, she confirmed the low willingness of sexual violence victims to report cases. She sees the blaming and stigmatisation of victims by the family and institutions as an essential reason for this. She says that it is often the representatives of institutions as well as the parents who are protected and the victims who are blamed:

They think in the best interest of the parents, in the best interest of the institution, not in the best interest of the victim. The best interests of the victim, in this case, they are children. They are victims. We need to help them, not blame them. We need to process these cases because if we don’t, the criminals will do the same thing to other victims.13

Moreover, according to her, many cases of sexual violence happen in the family environment. Thus, the family, which should be a place of protection and care, can become a place of threat, while those perpetrators of violence often go unpunished. The desire to address such distorted criminalisation-care relationships (see also Arnez 2023, Chap. 1), has prompted advocacy for the RUU TPKS calling for a criminalisation of sexually violent offenders (Fig. 2.1).

Fig. 2.1
A photograph of a woman named Rita Pranawati.

Interview with Rita Pranawati, 19 May 2022. Photo credit: Monika Arnez

6 The Long Road to the Sexual Violence Bill

Due to the severity of the case, Herry Wirawan’s case referred to at the beginning of this contribution has led to accelerating the long rocky road to the Sexual Violence Bill. Yet, from the initial efforts of the National Commission on Violence against Women, it took 10 years for the law to take effect on 09 May 2022. Women’s rights activists criticised that those conservative forces had been accommodated too much as they had been given too much space by linking the criminalisation of zina and LGBTQ + with sexual violence. This, they argued, contributed to considerable delays in ratifying the bill.

In June 2017, the Family Love Alliance (Aliansi Cinta Keluarga, AILA) pushed for legislation to criminalise same-sex relationships outside of marriage. They wanted this to be included in the revision of the Criminal Code (RKUHP) (see Arnez 2023, chapter 1). The Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, PKS) had blocked the Sexual Violence Bill until the very end. Their main argument was that it fails to punish adultery, and LGBTQ + , which is harām (forbidden) in Islam. Al Muzzammil Yusuf, a member of the PKS faction in parliament, stated on 10 April 2022:

If this bill stands alone and without the expansion of adultery (Article 284 of the Criminal Code) and the prohibition of LGBTQ+ (Article 292 of the Criminal Code), then the content of the TPKS Bill contains the norm of sexual consent, meaning that if there is no violence, sexual relations are allowed (Humas Fraksi PKS DPR RI 2022).

In other words, the accusation here is that the law does not criminalise zina and LGBTQ + as it should, according to the PKS faction. This revealed a fundamental difference in understanding between the supporters of the bill, for whom sexual violence has nothing to do with zina and LGBTQ + , and the members of the PKS faction, for whom all three are on the same level, in the sense that they imply forms of sexual intercourse that are forbidden in Islam. For the PKS, as for other conservative forces in Indonesia, LGBTQ + is considered an evil to be fought because they equate it with sexual permissiveness, which tends to be seen as a consequence of the negative influence of lax sexual morality from the West. In 2016, the “LGBTQ + panic,” as it was sometimes referred to in the media, reached new heights. In January 2016, a leaflet on sexual consultation went viral and its authors were accused of providing LGBTQ + “group protection.” In 2017, anti-LGBTQ + smear campaigns increased; in 2018, conservative groups, including the PKS, brought an anti-LGBTQ + campaign to parliament and sought amendments to the penal code.

Such advances led to the Indonesian Criminal Code KUHP eventually being revised. On 06 December, legislation was passed that extensively interferes with privacy and criminalises sex outside marriage. People found guilty of sex outside marriage under this law can be jailed for up to three years. This further restricts people’s privacy and ostracises minorities such as LGBTQ + persons who cannot get married in Indonesia and are therefore criminalised per se if they live together as a couple.

7 The Expected Impact of the Sexual Violence Bill

“The ratification of the RUU TPKS14 into law is a gift for all women in Indonesia.” These were the words of Puan Maharani, the chairwoman of the Indonesian Parliament (DPR) after passing the new Sexual Violence Bill on 12 April 2012. Through the signature of the Indonesian president, who has recently tried to accelerate the ratification of the UU TPKS on 09 May 2022, it was turned into law. Several interlocutors talked about the Sexual Violence Bill along similar lines. Ellen Kusuma of SAFEnet, for example, contended that its sheer presence is an achievement because victims of sexual violence can now be better protected.15 Titiek Kartika16of KPI also highlighted that the bill is a gift for people in Indonesia.

The Sexual Violence Bill is expected to have a significant impact in several ways. From the point of view of victims of sexual violence, it is undoubtedly clear that the law is a historic step towards better protection against sexual violence. From the perspective of promoters of the law, one expectation is related to the reporting of the cases. Andy Yentriyani sees one of the benefits of the Sexual Violence Bill in an increasing willingness of victims and their families to report cases of violence to the respective authorities. She expressed the hope that “the Law on Sexual Violence can be a solution to the stagnation faced by victims so far, including to increase the confidence of victims to report. If we look at other laws, such as the Law on the Elimination of Domestic Violence or the Law on Trafficking in Persons, the presence of this law will usually encourage victims to report their cases.”17 Moreover, there are new initiatives, i.e. via SAFEnet, encouraging victims to report online, i.e. without the reporting being directly linked to a person in a way that is visible to others.

The Sexual Violence Bill will likely increase the government’s willingness to invest in preventive measures. Concerning the latter, Rita Pranawati recently said in an interview that the law has led to decision-makers developing ideas for a better monitoring system of Islamic boarding schools, which have been accused of being hotbeds of sexual violence, fueled by the Herry Wirawan rape scandal.18 The new law will not abruptly change the problem of sexual violence in Indonesia. However, apart from the points mentioned so far, interlocutors also pointed out that it will bring greater awareness of sexual violence to the public in Indonesia. Yet, as the law was only recently passed, it is too early to say how effectively it will be implemented. It is also an open question whether the Indonesian penal code KUHP and the criminalisation of extramarital sex will not make people more inclined to report extramarital sex than cases of sexual violence.

8 Voices of Muslims on RUU TPKS

Issues of sexuality and sexual violence in Muslim-majority countries are always hotly debated (Mir-Hosseini 2011). The conservative turns in many Muslim-majority countries and the resurgence of piety have boosted the confidence of conservatives to criminalise sexuality and introduce certain norms and laws to police Muslim sexuality. This, for example, can be seen in the revival of zina laws in some Muslim countries (Mir-Hosseini 2011, p. 8). Central to the inability of conservative Muslims to understand sexual violence is their failure to differentiate between Sharia and fiqh. Sharia is God’s will and, therefore, it is infallible, sacred and flawless (Abou El- Fadl 2004, p. 31). The prevailing law in Muslim-majority contexts is fiqh (jurisprudence). It refers to the product of human endeavour to understand and apply legal and ethical rulings mentioned in the sacred texts, especially the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Thus, as Mir-Hosseini elaborates:

The distinction between Sharia and fiqh is crucial, from a critical feminist perspective, because it both engages with the past and enables action in the present; it enables the separation of the legal from the sacred, and to reclaim the diversity and pluralism that was part of Islamic legal tradition (Mir-Hosseini 2011, p. 9).

Indeed, Mir-Hosseini’s position is resonant with those of progressive Muslims and Muslim and Islamic feminists in Indonesia, supporting the RUU TPKS.

From the moment it was initiated, one of the benefits of the bill has been how the discourse of sexual violence is being discussed openly in public. Muslim women’s organisations, activists and Muslim feminists are among parties within civil society that have been active in sharing their concerns and voices to support the RUU TPKS. Their voices and importance are not surprising given that Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority country with a long and significant presence of progressive Muslims with gender-just perspectives. Many of them have been inspired by modernist, progressive thinkers and Islamic and Muslim feminists across the globe (Arnez 2010; Schröter 2017; Nisa 2021). The subsequent section will focus mainly on the voices of KUPI and its networks in their struggle to support RUU TPKS.

8.1 KUPI and Its Networks Struggling for RUU TPKS

The first KUPI, the Indonesian Gender-Just Ulama Congress, was held from 25 to 27 April 2017 at the Kebon Jambu al-Islamy Islamic Boarding School, Cirebon. It is the Muslim world’s first congress of gender-just ulama. The congress was initiated by gender-just ulama (men and women, see Nisa and Saenong 2022), intellectuals, Muslim and Islamic feminists, women’s activists, human right’s activists and social movement activists (Nisa 2019, p. 435). More than 1,500 people attended it. A collaboration of the three main NGOs, Rahima, Fahmina and Alimat runs KUPI. Each of these NGOs has robust connections with the largest moderate Muslim organisation in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama; hence, they all can be regarded as NGOs with progressive understandings of Islam and gender equality (Nisa 2019, p. 437). The foundation of KUPI signifies that women in Indonesia have been leading religious authority and playing a significant role in developments in Islam throughout the history’s archipelago.

Why is KUPI important in our discussion of RUU TPKS? Many factors make KUPI a vital actor in the passing of RUU TPKS into law. Early in its establishment, during its first congress in 2017, KUPI positioned issues of sexual violence as its primary concern. During the congress, KUPI emphasised the need for a particular law covering victim perspectives in Indonesia. According to KUPI, this law is important to protect human beings from sexual violence which degrades human dignity. It can be a pathway to realise maqashid as-sharia (the objectives of Sharia), focusing especially on protecting honour, descent and the soul (hifdz al ‘irdh, an-nasl wa an-nafs) (Fayumi in Kodir et al. 2020, p. iv).

In the congress sexual violence was one of three fatwa (a legal-theological opinion) issued by KUPI, in addition to a fatwa on child marriage and environmental destruction (Nisa, 2019, pp. 439–440). Through its sexual violence fatwa, KUPI declares two things: First, sexual violence, whether committed outside or inside marriage (marital rape), is harām (forbidden under Islamic law). Second, KUPI also stresses that zina (adultery and fornication) and rape are different, despite both being a form of sexual intercourse Islam prohibits. KUPI explains the difference between the two, stating that rape is hirāba in which the perpetrator forces the victim to have sex, the sexual intercourse is against the victim’s will or the sexual intercourse is without the victim`s consent. The perpetrator commits two prohibited acts at once, adultery and coercion. Unfortunately, in other countries, like Pakistan, some conservatives proclaim the crime of rape as zina-bil-jabr (zina by force) which has been criticised by progressive Muslims (Quraishi 1997, p. 289).

KUPI is firm in its position that rape is not a subset or subcategory of zina nor zina-bil-jabr. Rather it is hirāba, which is defined by fuqaha (Muslim jurists or experts in Islamic jurisprudence) like Sayyid Sabiq as “a single person or group of people causing public disruption, killing, forcibly taking property or money, attacking or raping women (“hatk al ‘arad’”), killing cattle, or disrupting agriculture (quoted in Quraishi 1997, p. 315). KUPI’s classification of rape as hirāba is resonant with Asifa Quraishi’s argument that:

(…) classification of rape under hiraba promotes the principle of honoring women’s sexual dignity established in the Quranic verses on zina. Rape as hiraba is a separate violent crime which uses sexual intercourse as a weapon. The focus in a hiraba prosecution would thus be the accused rapist and his intent and physical actions (…) (Quraishi 1997, p. 317)

KUPI also holds the firm position that victims of rape should not be equated with perpetrators of zina. Victims of rape must receive proper psychological, physical and social support (Nisa 2019, p. 439).

KUPI bases its harām fatwa on sexual violence by rereading of religious texts. KUPI’s approach resonates with that of Islamic feminists, to borrow Margot Badran’s (2001) concept in other countries (Nisa 2021, p. 159). Badran emphasises that Islamic feminism refers to a new approach that reinterprets Islamic religious texts in a gender-sensitive way (2001, p. 50). In addition to such an interpretation of Islamic texts, the KUPI also bases its fatwa on a human rights perspective that includes a social and cultural analysis (2001, p. 50). In addition to its gender-just rereading of Islamic texts, KUPI also bases their fatwa on a human rights point of view, which covers social and cultural analysis. Thus, KUPI applies contextualist approaches to religious texts. In doing this, KUPI’s ulama perempuan (gender-just ulama) collaborates with other women’s rights activists, women’s organisations, Islamic feminists and Muslim feminists to counter the narratives of those who oppose the RUU TPKS. This reminds us of Mir-Hosseini’s article which asks, “Can Islamic and human rights frameworks coexist, or in other words, how can an overlapping consensus be built?” (2011, p. 22). Mir-Hosseini argues this in contexts “where religious discourse is paramount, where religious identity has become politicised, and where the Islamists set the terms of sexual and moral discourses.” He claims that to be effective in such contexts, human rights norms and values must be articulated in a language that can engage with local cultures, practices and religious traditions” (Mir-Hosseini 2011, p. 22). KUPI’s initiative to collaborate with human rights activists in fighting against sexual violence resonates with Mir-Hosseini’s suggestion, given that Indonesia has also witnessed a conservative turn. This is also evident from the well-known Islamist party Partai Keadilan Sejahtera’s (PKS, the Prosperous Justice Party) position that does not support RUU TPKS.

As explained above, one of the often-mentioned objections of the PKS is the absence of criminalising consensual sexual acts between a man and woman, including any zina. Their main agenda is criminalising consensual sex, arguing that this can help the nation fight against rampant moral decadence. KUPI certainly believes that the act of fornication and adultery is forbidden in Islam. However, KUPI and its network emphasise that although RUU TPKS does not mention zina, this does not mean that KUPI approves it. Abdul Kodir et al. (2020) state that those aspects are not mentioned because “the main focus of this final bill is all forms of sexual violence, which are forced on victims, both outside and inside marriage. This final bill does not talk about sexual relations that are forbidden in Islam, but only acts of sexual violence…” (2020, pp. 54–55). One of the focuses of RUU TPKS, for example, is on dealing with the unequal power relations between a husband and wife, between the strong and the weak.

Although Muslim women’s NGOs have long been present in Indonesia, KUPI is unique because it actively “recruits” human rights and women’s rights activists to become part of the KUPI family. The elites of KUPI are gender-just ulama who have strong Islamic studies backgrounds, including Islamic legal tradition backgrounds. This is vital because the staunch opponents of KUPI are conservatives with patriarchal interpretations of Islam’s sacred texts. KUPI is also not anti-feminist. Feminists of various backgrounds attended the first congress of KUPI. KUPI also believes that RUU TPKS takes its inspiration from the spirit of feminism and gender justice, which is not against Islamic teaching. Feminism in this context, in particular, refers to “an awareness of the reality of injustice and violence that befalls women” (Abdul Kodir et al. 2020, p. 70). This is aligned with the way feminists define feminism. Bronwyn Winter, for example, contends that feminism is “essentially about the fight to end domination, the key element of this being male domination, and about empowering women…” (2008, p. 315).

8.2 KUPI: Women as Victims?

Last year, a scandal regarding a female lecturer from a state Islamic university teaching about Islamic family law, polygamy and writing about Hukum Perkawinan Islam in Indonesia (Islamic Marriage Law in Indonesia) was revealed among certain elites of KUPI. The lecturer wanted to collaborate with KUPI to organise a gender-related event in which she would be one of the main speakers. The KUPI network had to refuse her request, knowing that she had conducted siri (unregistered) marriage and polygamous marriage twice, including becoming the second wife of an elite within the campus. One of the KUPI elites was even invited to be the witness for her siri polygamous marriage, which he refused because it was against his ideals as a progressive and gender-just ulama. Additionally, before the lecturer’s third husband’s death, she had already conducted extramarital relations with a married man.

This short vignette signifies the complexity of gender-based violence against women and the perpetrators of gender-based violence, including abusive relationships, family violence, domestic violence and sexual violence, which can be perpetrated by men and women, with or without knowledge of gender discourses. It also testifies that some well-educated women who speak publicly about gender and have strong religious understandings often do not understand the essence of gender-based violence and lack sensitivity to gender-just perspectives. This abusive attitude, lack of sensitivity, and attitudes of disrespect and gender inequality are born out of society’s failure to discuss gender-based violence and sexual violence in public.

Most victims of sexual violence are women and girls, based on a report issued by Komnas Perempuan, as mentioned above. It is noteworthy that during 2015–2020, there were 51 complaints of sexual violence in the educational environment received by Komnas Perempuan, according to their report. Most cases of sexual violence occurred in universities, at a rate of 27%. In second place, unfortunately, were Islamic boarding schools (pesantren) and Islamic schools, which accounted for 19% of the reported cases. This report was confronting given that pesantren are known as “sacred” places to produce ulama “religious leaders” in Indonesia. KUPI and its pesantren-based ulama networks believe this phenomenon is a warning bell for pesantren and other Islamic institutions, highlighting that they must fight against sexual violence. Leaders and teachers of pesantren need sound gender-just perspectives in understanding religious texts that might lead to sexual violence.

Nyai Afwah Mumtazah, the female pesantren leader of Pondok Pesantren Kempek in Cirebon, understands the challenges many pesantren face in Indonesia face. Unfortunately, she recounted, “this can be seen clearly from the fact that some kyai (male leader of pesantren) are doing polygamous marriage without the knowledge of their first wives. This then has resulted in various forms of sexual violence.”19 To the polygamous marriages of kyai ((Nisa 2019, p. 442); see also Wirasti and van Huis 2021), there have been incidents of kyai marrying their students or conducting early or child marriage.

Many teachers of pesantren do not have gender-just perspectives in reading religious texts. When they teach their santri (students of pesantren) sex education based on religious texts, many of them fail to explain the context in which a certain Qur’anic verse or hadith was revealed. This then leads to patriarchal interpretations that strengthen the inequality of power relations between men and women. Nyai Afwah has even made her pesantren an institution conducive to victims of sexual violence. She recounts, “For my santri, I am their place to ask for marital and sexual advice. Santri who are married often ask for advice on marital relations and unfortunately, many of them must continue to be provided with sexual education and husband and wife relationships that are in accordance with Islamic values that do not demean women, and even elevate their status and dignity.”20 Unfortunately, not many nyai have this kind of approach to their santri like Nyai Afwah. As part of KUPI ulama perempuan, Nyai Afwah was invited to speak to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of Indonesia, together other KUPI ulama perempuan. This meeting related to the polemic when the Ministry of Education issued regulations on preventing and handling sexual violence in higher education institutions in 2021—which was opposed by Muhammadiyah, Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Indonesia Ulama Council, MUI) and PKS. Nyai Afwah says, “I was very vocal and I told them that it was indeed necessary to make a similar regulation for the pesantren environment.”21

For KUPI and its ulama perempuan such as Nyai Afwah and Nyai Nur Afiyah, the struggle to pass RUU TPKS into law is in line with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. One of the most often-mentioned references of KUPI elites is a hadith (saying of the Prophet Muhammad) emphasising that he gave special attention to women. On his deathbed, the Prophet sent a strong message to the community to ensure goodness for women because they are often marginalised and forgotten. He said “I urge you to treat women kindly. They are a trust in your hands. Fear God in His trust” (quoted in al-Hibri 1982, 213).

8.3 KUPI and Marital Violence

Marital violence is one of the rampant forms of violence and sensitive issues experienced during marital life in Indonesia. RUU TPKS is complementary to Articles 5 and 8 of law number 23 2004 of the Republic of Indonesia regarding eliminating violence in the household. Article 5 states, “Anyone shall be prohibited to carry out violence in the household against an individual within the scope of the household, using: a. physical violence; b. psychic violence; c. sexual violence; or the negligence of the household.” Article 8 elaborates what sexual violence means in article 5: “The sexual violence referred to in Article 5 letter c shall include: a. forcing sexual intercourse carried out against an individual living within the scope of the household; b. forcing sexual intercourse against one of the individuals within the scope of the household for commercial purpose and/or a certain purpose.” The RUU TPKS reinforces this in article 11. It states that (1) Everyone is prohibited from committing sexual violence and (3) that sexual violence, as referred to in paragraph 5, includes incidents of sexual violence in the scope of personal relations, the household, work relations, public relations and other special situations.

Many women’s activists and organisations have long waited for this move to criminalise rape in marriage and domestic violence (Idrus and Bennett 2003, p. 45). Marital violence is a severe concern in both regulations because of the common assumption that men have unlimited sexual access to the bodies of their wives. Husbands consider their wives their property (Bennett and Manderson 2003, p. 10). This is common in Indonesia, regardless of the socio-cultural background including religious affiliations, as Bennett and Manderson argue:

…the institution of marriage is interpreted in many Asian societies in a manner that denies women’s right to bodily integrity and upholds men’s entitlement to sexual access to their wives, regardless of whether women consent to sexual relations (Bennett and Manderson 2003, p. 10).

Unfortunately, in Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country like Indonesia, some individuals use religious narratives or patriarchal readings of sacred texts to support their arguments. Kiai Faqihuddin Abdul Kodir, known as Kyai Faqih, one of the most well-known Indonesian male Muslim feminists and KUPI intellectuals, introduced qira’ah mubadalah (reciprocal reading) to counter patriarchal understandings and interpretations of religious texts. Through qiraah mubadalah, Kyai Faqih emphasises that Islamic texts, the Qur’ an and hadith, are not patriarchal texts. At the same time, the introduction of qira’ah mubadalah serves to counter patriarchal understandings and interpretations of religious texts. Kyai Faqih introduced qira’ah mubadalah in 2017, and published his book Qira’ah Mubadalah: Tafsir Progressive untuk Keadilan Gender dalam Islam (Reciprocal Reading: Progressive Interpretation for Gender Justice in Islam) as a guide for approaching religious texts as a basis for gender justice.

Kyai Faqih’s qira’ah mubadalah approach has been adopted by KUPI gender-just ulama. In 2020, KUPI, Alimat and Komnas Perempuan published Tanya Jawab Seputar RUU Penghapusan Kekerasan Seksual: Dari Pandangan Kongres Ulama Perempuan Indonesia (KUPI) (Questions and Answers Regarding the Bill on the Elimination of Sexual Violence: From the Viewpoint of the Indonesian Women’s Ulama Congress [KUPI]) (Abdul Kodir et al. 2020). In this book, Kyai Faqih collaborated with two other KUPI ulama perempuan, Pera Soparianti and Yulianti Muthmainnah, to demonstrate how qira’ah mubadalah works to prevent sexual violence. This book also aims to present Islamic views on sexual violence and to counter those who believe that Islam does not have a clear and firm view on how to eliminate sexual violence. The book reflects KUPI’s broader agenda to showcase Islam’s inherent gender-egalitarian nature.

An example of the use of qira’ah mubadalah to prevent sexual violence is set out in the Tanya Jawab Seputar RUU Penghapusan Kekerasan Seksual. The KUPI network’s justification for adopting RUU TPKS is the widespread belief that Islam grants husbands sexual rights, including the obligation to have sexual relations with their wives, and not vice versa. Qira’ah mubadalah considers this as sexual violence—the forcing of sexual relations in marriage, either by husband to wife or vice versa. Through the qira’ah mubadalah approach, Kyai Faqih and his networks refer to what is outlined in the Qur’an and hadith, i.e. that husband and wife must have sexual relations in the principle of doing good to each other (mu’asyarah bil ma’ruf). This mu’asyarah bil ma’ruf in qira’ah mubadalah means that both parties have to please the other during their sexual relations and must avoid coercion. Citing verses in the Qur’an, like al-Baqarah, 2: 187, “hunna libasun lakum wa antum libasun lahun” (the husband is clothing for the wife, and the wife is clothing for the husband), Kyai Faqih and KUPI ulama perempuan emphasise that “If clothing is something that gives comfort to the wearer in navigating life, then the sexual activity must be something that gives comfort to each” (Kodir et al. 2020, p. 31). This forms the foundation for KUPI networks, namely, by introducing qira’ah mubadalah it can be understood that married couples must avoid sexual violence and marital rape by ensuring that both the husband and the wife have the right to enjoy each other’s bodies during sexual relations. This spirit of qira’ah mubadalah has long been introduced by many scholars, including Muslim feminist lawyer and philosopher Azizah al-Hibri. In her argument about how Islam has introduced better living conditions for women, al-Hibri emphasises that women should be treated with dignity, and healthy reciprocity in sexual interaction is a part of Islamic teaching. Al-Hibri, for instance, emphasises the importance of foreplay in sexual intercourse for married couples. She cites a hadith from al-Ghazali’s work in ihya ulum al-Din: “Don’t fall upon your wife like an animal does. Send a messenger between you first.” His listeners asked, “What messengers?” He answered, ‘Kisses and words’” (quoted in al-Hibri 1982, p. 213). This reciprocal spirit is vital in the discussion of RUU TPKS, mainly because most victims of sexual violence, as mentioned above, are women.

9 Conclusion

Trivialising violence and blaming victims because they “did something wrong” to become victims of sexual violence are widespread patterns and factors across the globe that encourage rape—something that several scholars like Buchwald et al. (2005), Toss (2008) and Harding (2015) have called “rape culture.”

For the Indonesian context, we have shown that the magnitude of the Herry Wirawan case accelerated the process of passing the Sexual Violence Bill, a legal instrument to protect victims of sexual violence better. We have revealed the cultural and institutional factors its advocates and supporters have identified in lobbying for it. One crucial factor is the tabooing of sexual violence, not only in educational institutions but also in the family, leading to inadequate sexual education. The fear of being criminalised as a victim of sexual violence if the respective case is openly addressed is well-founded, because there is a tendency to protect the institutions and their representatives who blame the victim instead of helping him or her. Several of our collaborators have confirmed that victims are hesitant to report cases of sexual violence to the police due to the potential stigma for the victim and their family, the length of time it takes to process cases, and the uncertainty of whether the case will be pursued.

As far as sexual violence in institutions is concerned, we have built on the idea of gender and violence and “mutually constituting forces” (Mack et al. 2018) and argued that the co-constitution of violence and gender, the opacity of secluded spaces, unequal gender relations, asymmetrical power relations and lack of monitoring are all significant in facilitating sexual violence in institutions. Pesantren are a case in point because the interaction between santri, their parents or other related persons outside the pesantren, is minimal, and their wellbeing depends on the goodwill of the teaching personnel and the head of the institution. The unconditional obedience of students to teachers promotes sexual violence and the existence of unequal gender and power structures and their reproduction among students.

The deep roots of sexual violence have prompted supporters of the Sexual Violence Bill to advocate for its implementation. Komnas Perempuan proposed it ten years ago, convinced that it will have a great benefit in better protecting victims from sexual violence and will also have a positive impact on victims’ willingness to report their cases.

However, advocacy for this bill came not only from women’s rights organisations, but also from progressive Islamic circles who argued for the law from an Islamic perspective. We have zoomed in on KUPI to show how ulama perempuan have justified their support for the Sexual Violence Bill by saying they want to establish more gender justice in Islamic circles. To this end, they have issued a fatwa against sexual violence, which primarily opposes the conflation of the terms zina and rape common among conservatives, including members of the PKS who have blocked the Sexual Violence Bill until the very end. Instead, they have emphasised the difference between zina (adultery and fornication) and rape. Specifically, they have highlighted that rape is hirāba, where the perpetrator forces the victim to have sexual intercourse, sexual intercourse takes place against the victim’s will, or sexual intercourse takes place without the victim’s consent. This qira’ah mubadalah, which is aimed at emphasising equality between wives and husbands, and their collaboration with other women’s activists and organisations are important given that gender inequality leading to sexual violence has grown roots in the country.

In closing, based on our findings, we contend that although the Sexual Violence Bill is a significant step forward in tackling sexual violence in Indonesia, judicial punishment is insufficient to bring about sustainable change. Preventing sexual violence requires creating an environment where families, neighbours, religious institutions and government agencies do not abuse, isolate or blame sexual violence victims but work together to develop a spirit of openness, caring and repair.


  1. 1.

    Another case involved the suicide of 23-year-old Novia Widyasari in early December 2021 in Mojokerto, East Java, after her partner Randy Bagus Sosongkho had sexually abused and forced her to abort the baby.

  2. 2.

    Before being passed into law it was referred to as Rancangan Undang-undang Tindak Pidana Kekerasan Seksual (RUU TPKS).

  3. 3.

    On regulatory zeal see Arnez, this volume.

  4. 4.

    In this chapter, we use LGBTQ + to refer to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and/or Queer community, where the + sign referring to other non-heterosexual identifies not specifically mentioned, as an inclusive umbrella term. Indonesian media have frequently used the term LGBT to refer to this community as the foreign, anti-Islamic ‘other.’ See, for example, Ewing 2020.

  5. 5.

    If not otherwise mentioned, the interviews we carried out were conducted in Indonesian, either by Monika Arnez or Eva Nisa, via Zoom.

  6. 6.

    Gender-neutral pronoun Toss uses to replace “her” and “him”.

  7. 7.

    Interview with Ellen Kusuma, carried out by Monika Arnez on 08 June 2022.

  8. 8.

    Interview with Titiek Kartika, carried out by Monika Arnez on 24 May 2022.

  9. 9.

    Interview with Khaerul Umam Noer, carried out by Monika Arnez on 09 June 2022.

  10. 10.

    Interview with Rita Pranawati, carried out by Monika Arnez in English on 19 May 2022.

  11. 11.

    Interview with Khaerul Umam Noer, carried out by Monika Arnez on 09 June 2022.

  12. 12.

    Interview with Andy Yentriyani, recorded by Kompas TV, 06 May 2022, and transcribed from Indonesian to English by Monika Arnez.

  13. 13.

    Interview with Rita Pranawati, carried out by Monika Arnez on 19 May 2022.

  14. 14.

    Rancangan Undang-Undang Tindak Pidana (Draft Law on Sexual Violence). This draft law was passed into law (UU TPKS) in April 2022.

  15. 15.

    Interview with Ellen Kusuma, carried out by Monika Arnez on 08 June 2022.

  16. 16.

    Interview with Titiek Kartika, carried out by Monika Arnez on 24 May 2022.

  17. 17.

    Interview with Andy Yentriyani, recorded by Kompas TV, 06 May 2022, and transcribed from Indonesian to English by Monika Arnez.

  18. 18.

    Interview with Rita Pranawati, carried out by Monika Arnez on 19 May 2022.

  19. 19.

    Interview with Nyai Nur Afiyah, carried out by Eva F. Nisa on 29 May 2022.

  20. 20.

    Interview with Nyai Afwah Mumtazah, carried out by Eva F. Nisa on 28 May 2022.

  21. 21.

    Interview with Nyai Afwah Mumtazah, carried out by Eva F. Nisa on 28 May 2022.