A celebrity spiritual “healer” in Indonesia caused controversy after telling a supposed spirit within a woman’s body that she deserved the gang rape and consequent suicide, the Asian outlet Coconuts reported on Wednesday.
The woman, named Ningsih Tinampi but otherwise known as Bu Ning, has a large social media following more than 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube.
In one of her videos, titled “The Danger of Hate and Envy of a Driveling Shaman,” Bu attends to a patient who believes she is possessed by a spirit who was gang-raped and eventually committed suicide.
“A person who gets raped is not allowed to blame the rapist. Ladies and gentlemen, those of you who have daughters, don’t blame rapists, because rapists get their lust from the person they rape,” she told the woman. “Everything is the fault of the woman, because she wears revealing clothes and is flirty in front of people, so those lead to rape.”
“So, it doesn’t mean the rape was the rapist’s fault.” she continued. “For me, blame the person who got raped because she flaunted it, yes or no?”
The video quickly went viral and led to widespread outrage across social media, including from the Islamic country’s Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin.
“There’s a view that’s been circulating, that rape happens because it’s the fault of the female victim who invited the lust of the male rapist,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is like a sheep that knows nothing but later gets blamed for being eaten by a wolf, because it tempted the predator.”
Beredar pandangan, pemerkosaan terjadi akibat salahnya perempuan korban yg telah mengundang nafsu lelaki pemerkosa.
Ini seperti domba yg tak tahu apa-apa yg disalahkan saat dimangsa srigala, karena telah menggoda pemangsanya..
— Lukman H. Saifuddin (@lukmansaifuddin) November 25, 2019
Adriana Venny, the commissioner of the country’s National Commission on Violence Against Women told local newspaper Detik that such attitudes are holding back the eradication of violence against women in Indonesia.
“In Indonesia, the cause of rape is not revealing clothes, there have been babies and grandmothers who got raped,” she explained. “The damage could last a lifetime and impact the victim’s family. Imagine if we, as mothers, have a daughter who got raped but the rapist can freely roam without being punished. Surely the mother will also suffer.”
Despite the existence of the said commission, which advocates for the revocation of Sharia Law nationwide, discrimination against women remains a major issue in the world’s largest Islamic country. One of the worst examples of such discrimination is the continued policy of Indonesia’s National Police and Armed Forces to inflict “virginity testing” on females applying to join the organizations, despite growing public pressure to abolish the practice.