Twitter account @m_fikris has uncovered an alleged incident of sexual harassment involving students in Surabaya, East Java being wrapped in jarik cloth for academic research purposes.
The tweet was written by someone claiming to be one of the victims. At the beginning of the thread, the victim writes that the predator, Gilang, claimed to be a student conducting academic research.
The victim explains that Gilang is suspected of having a fetish with wrapping people in jarik cloth, an Indonesian batik fabric with multiple uses and commonly used as clothing. He forced Surabaya students to agree to having their feet, hands, eyes, and ears duct taped then wrapped their entire body in a jarik cloth as part of his research. If his request were not granted, he began issuing threats.
Fetishes are pleasures that a person receives in response to objects that often do not contain sexual elements. People who have a fetish feel they need certain objects, sexually fantasising with these objects, or used as a partner in order to achieve maximum sexual satisfaction.
Having a fetish isn’t counted as a sexual disorder. However, if the fetish begins to make others feel uncomfortable or its indulgence becomes non-consensual, then it needs to be treated immediately.
The victim directed their tweet at the Airlangga University’s official Teotyer account, which Gilang claims to be studying at.
In the thread, the victim also included photos and videos of him wrapped in a cloth, as well as a conversation between himself and Gilang. The tweet garnered responses from a number of accounts claiming to also have been victims.
Head of Information and Public Relations Centre of Airlangga University, Prof. Suko Widodo explained that his department is still investigating the allegations of the fetishist. He also admitted that he had not yet communicated with the perpetrator, a 10th-semester student of the Faculty of Cultural Sciences.
“We are still trying to reach his parents to confirm this allegation,” he said. “The Faculty of Ethics Commission is investigating this case, if found guilty, he will be prosecuted.”
Meanwhile, the Faculty of Cultural Sciences at Airlangga University has opened a complaint service for other people who feel they have been victims of sexual harassment as tweeted by @m_fikris.
Complaints can be submitted through the UNAIR help centre at 081615507016 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Airlangga University’s Faculty of Cultural Sciences also provides counselling services to the victims. The victims will be guaranteed confidentiality,” Dean of the Airlangga University Faculty of Arts, Prof. Diah Arini Arimbi said.
Arimbi also said he’s opposed to all forms of sexual violence, physical violence, as well as physical and verbal abuse. “We will also openly update the development of these alleged acts of sexual harassment,” he explained.
Arimbi also stressed that there were no forms of research activities conducted by the Faculty of Cultural Sciences that led to sexual harassment, or practices that demeaned human indignity.