Wed, 14 May 2003

Domestic violence bill receives nod

JAKARTA: The House of Representatives (DPR) officially accepted on Tuesday the deliberation of an initial bill on domestic violence during a plenary session presided over by deputy House speaker Soetardjo Soerjogoeritno.

Chairman of the House's legislative body Zein Badjeber said a debate remained unsettled among factions on an article regarding the police's authority to meddle in household affairs.

Zein acknowledged that despite the House agreement, the bill was not considered a top priority.

The bill modifies an academic paper presented by a coalition of several non-governmental organizations to the House, due to their concerns regarding women who are mistreated or abused by their husbands, but refused to report them to authorities so that they could keep their marriage intact.

The bill, Zein said, is expected to serve as a tool to charge husbands who commit domestic violence. -- JP