‘Journos vulnerable to sexual violence’

Local journalists are vulnerable to sexual violence and sexual misconduct, a recent survey has found, even as they work to raise public awareness about the proliferation of incidences of sexual violence in the country.

A study published in January by the Jakarta chapter of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI Jakarta) revealed that 25 out of the 34 female and male journalists surveyed said they had experienced sexual violence or misconduct while carrying out their jobs.

Fifteen respondents said they had experienced sexual violence while they were out in the field, while eight said they had experienced sexual violence at their workplaces.

Another 15 respondents said they had experienced sexual violence outside working hours in situations connected to their profession, while one respondent said they were sexually harassed during a meeting with other journalists.

AJI Jakarta carried out its survey in August 2020 on 31 women and three men working in journalism to expose the risks that journalists, mostly female journalists, faced on a daily basis.

The types of sexual violence the respondents experienced range from sexual harassment, including unwanted touching, inappropriately sexual messages and catcalling, to rape.

As for the types of offenders, the majority of 13 respondents said their attackers were public officials. Others pointed to fellow journalists as the perpetrators of sexual violence, ranging from colleagues and senior journalists at their workplace to journalists of other media outlets.

The majority of survey respondents said they did not want to report incidents of sexual violence. Meanwhile, others said they had reported the incident but their complaints had fallen on deaf ears.

Konde.co managing editor and AJI member Widia “Tika” Primastika, who coordinated the survey, said that bringing the respondents together to address the issue was a challenge of its own, as many journalists refused to talk about their individual trauma.

She said that the main purpose of the survey was not to present actual numbers, but instead to show the public that these incidents do occur in real life. — The Jakarta Post/ANN

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