Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Sex crimes against women hit all-time high
Advocates say official figures are too lowNinik Rahayu speaks to reporters on the release of Komnas Perempuan's report on Thursday
- Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta
- March 8, 2013
The number of recorded cases of sexual violence committed against women reached an all-time high last year, a women’s advocacy group revealed on Thursday.
Some 59 percent, or 2,521 attacks out of a recorded 4,293 assaults on women were sexually motivated, according to the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan).
Most sex attacks involved rape or molestation, Komnas Perempuan said in an annual report released on Thursday ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday. Many of the victims were aged between 13 and 18, the report added.
The commission cited a gang rape last April in Tangerang, 30 kms from Jakarta, as one of the most extreme cases.
On April 6, 2012, six men raped and then killed a 24-year-old university student. The mastermind was later sentenced to death and the others sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Recorded figures, however, are probably just the tip of the iceberg, Komnas Perempuan said.
“There are still many women not brave enough to tell others about the attacks they suffer,” said Ninik Rahayu, a member of the commission’s policy and law reform desk.
A lack of education, or respect for women are the main causes behind the high rate of sexual violence, Rahayu told ucanews.com .
“It is about mindset. Men in high authority tend to belittle women,” she said.
“Worse, our society has seen women as weak objects since time began.”
Earlier this year a provincial judge vying for a seat in Indonesia’s Supreme Court caused an outcry by suggesting women enjoyed being raped.
South Kalimantan high court judge Daming Sunusi was asked by a vetting panel whether the death penalty should be applied to rapists.
"Both the victims of rape and the rapist might have enjoyed their intercourse together, so we should think twice before handing down the death penalty," the 60-year-old judge replied.
Rahayu said “the government must immediately change attitudes through an education system which respects women.”
“To fulfill, to protect and to respect … these are the government’s responsibilities,” she said.