Violence Against Women Doesn’t Need Classification!

By Rere Marselina

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Woman is celebrated every November 25. The global theme for this year is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls.” According to the UN Women’s website, this theme will aim to mobilize all UNITE networks, civil society and women’s rights organizations, organizations working with men and boys, the UN  system, the Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence, government partners, human rights defenders, schools, universities, private sector, sports clubs and associations and individuals to become activists for the prevention of violence against women, to stand in solidarity with women’s rights activists and to support feminist movements around the world to resist the rollback on women’s rights and calling for a world free from Violence Against Women and Girls. (1)

In Indonesia, The Commission of Elimination Violence Against Women published The Anual Records (CATAHU) before The International Day for the Elimination of Violence agaist Woman 2022 with theme: “”Shadows of Stagnancy: The Power of Prevention and Handling Compared to the Increase Number, Variety and Complexity of Gender-Based Violence Against Women”. The Annual Records (CATAHU) recorded 338,496 complaints of cases of gender-based violence against women in 2021. This figure increased by 50% from the previous year. (2) However, is this increase in complaints of gender-based violence against women a progress or a setback?

Classification of Violence and Legal Process

The increase in complaints of cases of gender-based violence against women reported to the National Commission on Women of Republic Indonesia is in fact not directly proportional to the legal handling. The National Commission on Women records that only a small amount of information is available or about 15% of the total cases registered by service agencies and National Commision of Woman. Settlement efforts are more legal (12%) compared to non-legal methods (3%). In fact, in many cases there is no resolution information (85%). (3)

From this fact, it can be seen that the cases of gender-based violence against women that have arised have not received the right space and opportunity for legal process. This is because the grouping of cases that directly classify cases of violence based on the severity of the case becomes one of the obstacles to legal settlement. The grouping of violent cases indirectly will only prioritize cases of violence that are classified as severe such as rape, physical abuse to be processed earlier than cases of violence that are classified as mild such as verbal harassment and cat calling.

In my opinion, classifying cases of gender-based violence against women will only hinder legal handling. Legal handling of cases of gender-based violence against women must focus on the word “violence”, while the classification of its derivatives can be applied to the type and duration of the sentence itself.

Ref: