13th January 2020

"How come a man is raped?"

For several days, the Indonesian community has been shocked and horrified by the rape crimes commited by Reynhard Sinaga, an Indonesian student who took a doctoral program at the University of Leeds, England. He has been convicted of 136 rapes against dozens of young men in Manchester from 2015-2017. The case invited numerous questions, many from people unaware that males could become victims of rape and/or sexual assault.

Unfortunately, cases of male rape are not as rare as you might think. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or religion, can be a rape victim. Rape occurs when there are imbalanced power dynamics between the perpetrator and the victim. In this case, Sinaga raped victims who were drunk or unconscious. This is the root of rape - when a perpetrator searches for control by forcing a victim into engaging in sexual activity.

With that, it’s clear that rape is never the victim’s fault. Excuses (e.g. coming home late, clothing) do not excuse acts of pure malice that are caused by the perpetrator only. Rape is a crime that means to take away one’s dignity.

Heinous cases of sexual assault and rape take place all across the country everyday. Cases like these must remind us of the importance of ratifying the RUU-PKS to protect all men and women, as well as ensuring the rights of victims to obtain justice and comprehensive recovery.


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