06 Oct Glorification of Ex-perpetrator in Child Sexual Abuse Case. Is Indonesia Still Far From the Target of SDG 16?
Last September, Indonesia’s famous singer, Saipul Jamil (41), had just been released from prison on charges of child sexual abuse after 5 years in prison. The glorification occurred when the singer had just left the Cipinang Prison, West Jakarta. He was garlanded with flowers, rode a luxury sports car, and warmly welcomed like a hero by his fans. The excessiveness continued, he was immediately busy with many jobs by being invited to various television shows. The decent treatment to Saipul is considered to endanger the mental health condition of the victim if he sees the perpetrator returning to fame and popularity on television. Therefore, the public, experts, and authorities have responded to this disgraceful phenomenon.
This article will discuss the phenomenon of glorification of former child sexual abuse perpetrators on the psychological impact of victims, the response of the public and authorities, and their relations to the goals of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 16 in the goal for peace, justice, and strong institutions.
Public Reactions to the Suspect of Child Sexual Abuse
This phenomenon also raised calls for restrictions on the movement of ex-perpetrator of sexual abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, in public spaces including television for a certain period of time. The aim is to prevent the recurrence of similar crimes, to respect victims who are struggling to heal themselves, and also to strengthen the view in society that sexual abuse is a serious crime.
A petition appeared on Change.org, “Boycott Saipul Jamil, an ex-pedophile perpetrator, appears on national television and YouTube“. The petition until today (10/06) has reached more than 500,000 signatures.
Coordinator of the Law to End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT) Rio Hendra, emphasized that Saipul Jamil’s welcomed of freedom was too much. Rio said that this shouldn’t have happened.
“Yes, there should be no need to do that, especially if we look at the case and it has been stated in the inkracht in court. I don’t think the reception was done because we are Indonesian and hold eastern customs, especially cases like this are not cases that can be seen properly,” Rio said when contacted by Liputan6.com.
Rio also regretted that a number of entertainment media didn’t seem to see and didn’t think about the feelings of the victim who thought that the perpetrator were greeted with joy and seemed to normalized. Rio emphasized that ECPAT’s attitude in the future is to provide knowledge to the community.
Behind the many criticisms and blasphemy by publics. A positive response was expressed by Inul Daratista, a singer. She also spoke up about the netizens who attacked Saipul Jamil after his freedom. Daratista hopes that netizens will no longer bring up Saipul Jamil’s past, and let him return to organize his life.
“A message for netizens, or people who bully him, I don’t really like that because he has been sent to school (re: jailed), so there is no need to add to yesterday’s problems being brought up,” said Daratista, quoted from the Popular Celebrity YouTube channel.
“Let him exist, let him run his life again, he is already enough to “school”, and it was a pretty good experience, I hope netizens understand too. Let him life be as he wants, now he wants to live his life can back to normal,” she added.
TV Shows Invitation Canceled Due to Public Criticism
Trans TV, the first TV channel that invited Saipul Jamil, through their Instagram account apologize for inviting ex-perpetrators of child sexual abuse and has thoroughly evaluated the incident. The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) has also sent letters to 18 broadcasters to stop glorifying Saipul Jamil’s freedom and will review the broadcasts that have invited Saipul Jamil. Jamil said many TV shows cancelled him after the controversy occurred.
Was it Fair to the Victim?
Interviewed by Republika.co.id, Forensic Clinical Psychologist, Kasandra Putranto considers glorification of ex-perpetrator of sexual abuse cases against children, Saiful Jamil is excessive. It can even cause re-traumatization to the victim.
“Excessive celebration and glorification of ex-perpetrator is inappropriate, because it has the potential to cause re-traumatization of the victim, not only the direct to the victim but also to other victims, Kasandra said on Friday (9/10).
She said, re-traumatization is happen when a survivor with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who is recovering is exposed to a person, incident, or environment that causes them to relive their previous trauma.
“Although re-trauma is a complication, its effects can be made temporary, with the help of medication and a positive attitude that shifts the focus of recovery back to hope for a brighter future,” Kasandra said.
Kasandra continued, for people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the past can come back at any time. In response to a triggering circumstance or event, which usually involves some kind or sensory or emotional stimulation, they may relive or remember the trauma that affected their life so deeply, with varying intensity.
Response of the Authorities
Commissioner of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI), Jasra Putra, assessed that the emergence of the petition is a form of high public awareness to side with the victims. He explained that every victim of violence including child sexual abuse, takes a long time to recover from the trauma.
Therefore, complete mentoring is the key for children to return to normal social situations. Jasra saw that the case of Saipul Jamil being released from prison with a lively reception would be difficult for those victims of sexual violence. Because it has the potential to re-open memories of past events that aren’t easy for the victim to deal with.
Similarly, KPAI Commissioner Retno Listyarti also suggested the public not to watch all shows featuring the perpetrator of sexual violence against children, Saipul Jamil. Retno reminded all parties not to tolerate and give spaces to people who have sexually abused children. She urged to the media to use the perspective of child protection.
Suprisingly, KPI gave different responses yet controversial. The chairman of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), Agung Suprio, said that Saipul Jamil could appear on television shows as long as it was for an educational context. The decision was made after an internal KPI meeting took into account human rights, ethics and law. Agung Suprio emphasized that KPI condemned the excessive glorification of Saipul Jamil as a former child sexual abuser.
Then, his statement made KPI get a lot of criticism. The KPI apologized for the statement made by KPI Chairman Agung Suprio who allowed the ex-perpetrator of child sexual abuse, Saipul Jamil, to appear on television for education. KPI’s Commissioner, Mulyo Hadi Purnomo admitted that the diction used by Agung Suprio in his statement was incorrect. According to Mulyo, the mistake in choosing the diction has created a different perception in the community.
Are Our Institutions Strong Enough to Handle Similar Cases?
The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) is one of the important keys to prevent something like this will happening again. Strict supervision needs to be carried out before granting permission to broadcast on TV shows that invite former perpetrators of child sexual abuse.
But unfortunately, KPI failed to prevent it. At the same time, KPI also faced sexual harassment case as their internal problem. This case shows the weakness of KPI’s strength as an authorized institution.
Nevertheless, KemenPPPA and KPAI are still continuing their supervisory function on cases of child sexual abuse that occurred in Indonesia. KemenPPPA and KPAI both have access to cooperate with the police in investigating cases of child sexual abuse. Also, KemenPPPA has the duty to report every crime case that occurs against children to be used as evaluation material for the Indonesian government. These two institutions both have the task of socializing the prevention of cases of sexual violence against children. Therefore, it needs a strong institution to carry out its duties.
SDG 16 for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
The case is related to one of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, significantly in SDG 16 for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. As UN explains:
Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.
This aims to promote peaceful societies at national levels, as well as the role of cooperation at the international level.
One of the indicators, appeared in Indicators 16.2.1 Violence Against Children definition is: “The
proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month.”
Protect children from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence across all countries by 2030.
What Can We Learn From This Case?
The lesson we can learn is that we as a society must be vigilant and concerned about cases of sexual harassment and violence against children. The awareness of some people not to let the perpetrators of sexual harassment appear in public is one of the wise actions to “paralyze” the perpetrators of sexual abuse.
Meanwhile, the competent institutions that have legal force must strengthen themselves, so that similar cases won’t happen again. Authorized institutions such as the National Police (Polri), the Ministry of Women and Child Protection Empowerment (KemenPPPA), KPAI, and KPI must be even more vigilant in preventing cases of sexual violence against children from happening again.
Prevention is better than having to rehabilitate the physical and mental pain experienced by victims of child sexual abuse, because they still have bright future.
With many benefits, justice, and peace will be perceived when successfully eradicating cases of sexual crimes against children. Of course, this will also have an impact on the realization of the goals of SDG 16 on Peace, Justice, and Institutional strengthening in 2030. The Saipul Jamil’s case is starting to become a point of hope so that perpetrators of sexual crimes against children will be deterred.
So, is Indonesia still far from the target of SDG 16? The answer depends on how peace, justice, and strong institutions work over the time until 2030. As Indonesian citizens, we can be involved in supporting the goals of the SDGs agenda by spread the word and stay updated.