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Indonesian 'women's shelter rape' sparks outrage

Girl, 14, previously abused by uncle claims she was also raped by worker at shelter

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Indonesian 'women's shelter rape' sparks outrage

A 14-year-old rape victim's claim she was also raped at a women's shelter has sparked outrage in Indonesia. (Stock image)

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Indonesian police are investigating claims by a 14-year-old rape victim that she was sexually abused by a worker at a government-run women’s shelter in Lampung province.

The girl, only identified as NF, was sent to the Integrated Care Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children in East Lampung district late last year to receive counseling after she was raped by her uncle, who was later jailed for 14 years.

She claims the official, identified as DA, had raped and sexually assaulted her on several occasions since January and threatened to hurt her if she revealed the ordeal.

The alleged abuse came to light after she spoke to her family in June.

Accompanied by her father, the girl later sought help from the Bandar Lampung Legal Aid Institute (LBH Bandar Lampung), which is providing her with legal advice.

A report was filed with Lampung regional police on July 3.

Police spokesperson Zahwani Pandra Arsyad said the girl has named a suspect and that investigations into the allegations are ongoing.

He also told journalists that charges could be laid against other people in connection with the case.

Theresia Sormin, head of the provincial Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Desk, said the allegations were highly disturbing given that the abuse was against a minor and took place in a care facility where she should have been safe.

She said the alleged victim was referred to a safe house run by her office after she was questioned by police.

Chandra Muliawan, director of LBH Bandar Lampung, said the girl appeared to be experiencing deep trauma.

“She feels insecure whenever her father is not around,” he told UCA News.

“We want the case to be investigated thoroughly and the alleged perpetrator to be punished severely if found guilty. The women’s shelter also needs to look at how something like this could happen.” 

The Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry called on police to investigate the matter thoroughly.

“The ministry will be monitoring the case and Lampung regional police have been told to make sure that legal proceedings are carried to the letter of the law,” said Nahar, a spokesman for the ministry’s child protection department.

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