Publication Details

R. Saraswati, 'Justice and the identities of women: The case of Indonesian women victims of domestic violence who have access to Family Court' (2013) (1) Forum on Public Policy: a journal of the Oxford Round Table 1-21.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Forum on Public Policy


The Family Court is the most important institution for Indonesian women who have experienced domestic violence. The institution becomes their last resort to end the violence and to obtain their rights as wives when the performance of criminal justice system is not satisfying. The women’s rights as wives are basically regulated in the Marriage Act 1974 and other implementing regulations of the Act. In reality, the rights of the women in this study, that they expected to be fulfilled, were different for each individual woman victim of domestic violence because of the diverse implementation of regulations in the Family Courts (such as the Religious Courts and the State courts) and the identities belonging to each woman (such as Muslim or non-Muslim, litigant or not litigant, and wife of civil servant or non-civil servant). Even though the substance of the legislations has been accustomed with the sense of gender equality at certain levels, apparently superiority still belongs to men. This causes an imbalance of power for women as litigants or non-litigants before the court. Thus, the different courts and their legislations affect the sense of justice among the women who have had the same experience of domestic violence.