Leah Riggins

Document Type

Book Review

First Page



Violence Against Women in Asian Societies examines cultural and other factors affecting women's experiences of violence in south and southeast Asia through a collection of essays. One particular essay on marital violence in Indonesia focuses on legal, political, and cultural constructions of marital rape. Indonesian wives currently face marital rape with no possibility of legal protection from their husbands. This Book Review argues that marital rape should be crimininalized in Indonesia, and that this can be achieved by applying an individual rights approach to violence against women. Indonesian women's organizations are currently working to increase public awareness and to pass legislation on violence against women, but marital rape will neither be criminalized nor punished until legislators and the public acknowledge women's individual rights within marriage.