Limited Resources to Support Online Gender-Based Violence Victims Persists

Diana Mariska
Sexual violence illustration (Photo: Faizin)
Sexual violence illustration (Photo: Faizin) - A latest report showed that support services continue to be limited in Indonesia, causing optimal victim assistance in online gender-based violence (OGBV) cases to be difficult.

In its 2021 Digital Rights in Indonesia Situation Report, Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) revealed that it received 677 OGBV complaints in 2021 through various reporting channels, including hotline.

However, limited resources among service providers in Indonesia hinders assistance from being optimally presented to victims.

SAFEnet reported that it received 337 complaints during working hours (9.00 5.00 p.m.) and 340 reports outside working hours. However, it noted that, in practice, there is not one service provider in Indonesia that’s available around the clock.

“In reality, there are no service providers in Indonesia that operate 24 hours a day,” the report noted. “In general, civil society organizations that provide services to victims, including SAFEnet, face the challenge of insufficient staff to handle all the cases that are reported.”

As a result, escalation of cases required extra time and handling.

Furthermore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many service providers also prioritized cases that involved violence or physical danger as well cases related election or the pandemic.

This situation shows that OGBV case handling requires 24-hour services to optimally assist victims,” SAFEnet concluded.

If not immediately resolved, the limited options for victims to access help from might lead them to experience prolonged trauma. As the report also mentioned, “The impact of OGBV on victims varies, from psychological impacts such as depression and suicidal ideation, through to facing job loss because their intimate images were shared on social media.”

The challenges often faced by OGBV victims include digital track records that remain long after the incident occurred lack of understanding of how to use the reporting features of various digital platforms being forced to change their phone number or weak law enforcement, such as ongoing terrorization despite their perpetrator being jailed.

The 677 OGBV reports received by SAFEnet were made from 26 provinces throughout Indonesia, including in Java (339 cases), outside Java (87), overseas (two), and unidentified location (249).

The majority of victims identified as women (559), followed with men (79), transgender man (one), and unknown genders (38).

SAFEnet recorded 14 different types of OGBV complaints in 2021: nonconsensual intimate image (NCII) distribution, threats, doxing, cyberflashing, flaming, impersonation, morphing, outing, privacy violations, sexual harassment, destruction of reputation, phishing, monitoring, and complaints about the use of Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law.

Tag # online gender-based violence # sexual violence # information and electronic transactions law # victim assistance

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