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Jakarta Post

Solidarity for teenaged rape victim raises awareness for sexual violence online

  • Liza Yosephine
    Liza Yosephine

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 3, 2016   /  05:04 pm
 Solidarity for teenaged rape victim raises awareness for sexual violence online Netizens create hashtag #NyalaUntukYuyun (Light for Yuyun) as a sign of solidarity for Yuyun, 14 year old Junior High School Student who was killed in early April after being gang raped by 14 young men in Bengkulu. (Tempo.co via Twitter/-)

The gruesome rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl by 14 teenage boys in Bengkulu has brought together netizens in a show of solidarity for the victim, at the same time raising awareness of sexual violence in the country.

Unified under the hashtag #NyalaUntukYuyun (Light for Yuyun), many have expressed their disappointment that such an abhorrent case has not received enough attention from the public, with some suggesting that people's ignorance was due to the fact that the incident happened in a remote village in Bengkulu.

Independent singer and social activist Kartika Jahja @kartikajahja shared on her Twitter on Tuesday: "It shouldn't be this way. Every life matters. Why does it have to become a hot issue first? But thankfully, we are now seeing some progress." 

Kartika was writing in reply to a poster @curup_online who wrote "Maybe we in Bengkulu just aren't as important as those in Java," referring to the location of the horror which occurred outside the island where the nation's capital is located. 

Although the incident happened in early April, it is only now that it has become a nationwide issue and a trending topic on social media with more people becoming aware of the issue.

Recently also, Kate Walton @waltonkate, a Jakarta-based Australian rights activist tweeted "we need to have a national discussion about rape and violence against women."

Besides the hashtag, people have also showed their solidarity by posting videos or photos of them lighting a fire in their social media channels with hashtags #KamiBersamaYuyun (We are with Yuyun).

Meanwhile, activist and founder of Inspirasi Indonesia, Ratri Pearman @suksmaratri, shared on her Twitter that a solidarity action would be held across from the State Palace on May 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Juniarti Boermans, program manager of Bengkulu's Cahaya Perempuan Women's Crisis Center (WCC) said authorities must declare a state of emergency for women and children in Rejang Lebong due to the high rate of sexual violence in the area.

There have been 36 cases reported throughout 2016 for sexual and physical violence against women and children, she said citing Cahaya Perempuan's data. The figure was alarming, Juniarti said, urging local administrations to take the issue more seriously.

Declaring that violence against women and children in the area was in a state of emergency would lead to clear and firmer process to eradicate the violence, he said. Juniarti also pushed for law enforcement bodies to be more firm and give harsher punishment to any perpetrators to create a deterrent effect. 

"Hopefully Yuyun's case will be the last and there will be no more other Yuyuns," Juniarti said adding that Cahaya Perempuan had met with the Rejang Lebong legislative council and relevant parties to garner support for action on the case. 

Yuyun, a junior high school student of Padang Ulak Tanding of Rejang Lebong regency, was found dead with a bruised corpse at the base of a five-meter ravine in the woods of Kasie Kasubun Village. Villagers found her body on April 4, three days after her disappearance, due to a strong stench. Her body was found naked, with her hands bound.

From the police's investigation, it was found that Yuyun was raped and killed by 14 young men, some of whom were younger than her. The men allegedly dragged her into the woods, tied, raped and hit her head. 

Police have arrested 12 of the 14 suspects while two others are still at large. (rin)

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