Indonesian Teen Raped By Her Brother Sent To Jail For Having Abortion

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A 15-year-old girl was raped repeatedly by her brother. Despite being the victim, she was sentenced to six months in jail after having an abortion.

An Indonesian girl who’s been raped repeatedly by her own brother was arrested for having an abortion.

The 15-year-old was the victim of abuse perpetrated by her 17-year-old brother eight times throughout the past year. During their hearing last week, the 15-year-old was handed a six-month sentence while her brother was given a two-year sentence for sexual assault of a minor.

The girl had an abortion six months after becoming pregnant as a result of the rapes, which prompted the prosecution to ask for a one-year sentence for the girl.

While abortion is illegal in Indonesia, there are exceptions for cases of rape, particularly if the pregnancy puts the woman’s life at risk. But even in these cases, terminating the pregnancy has to occur within 1 and a half months of becoming pregnant and must be performed by professionals.

In this situation, the victim did not follow the specifications of the law. However, the court should have been more lenient given the young girl’s circumstances.

Muara Bulian District Court’s spokesman Listyo Arif Budiman also served as one of the judges in this case. He confirmed the girl had been sentenced and that authorities were summoned after neighbors found the headless fetus. The girl confessed what had happened after officials initiated an investigation.  

The siblings’ mother is now also under investigation for having allegedly facilitated the abortion.

Lawyers had also asked for a seven-year sentence for the boy, a request that was ignored by the judges.

Maidina Rahmawati, head of research for the independent legal organization Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, said that the girl is a victim and that as such, she should not be in prison for terminating the pregnancy.

Rahmawati explained that the court’s guidelines are clear, and they require judges to "carefully examine cases involving women, specifically in cases of sexual violence [due to] its complexity."

She said that it’s “clear that the judge involved didn't really examine this case... they don't look deeper into what things were really happening behind the case."

A victim of such traumatic abuse should not be spending time behind bars. As Rahmawati explained, it’s hard to believe that the judges really thought out the consequences of their ruling and how time in prison will only perpetuate the idea that a victim can be held accountable for what she’s suffered at the hands of someone else. 

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters

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