Sunday, November 29, 2015

Papua New Guineans should say no to family violence

THE district courts granted 1,182 interim protection orders to domestic violence survivors last year alone, as the Government works to improve the prosecution of offenders, an official says.
Department of Justice and Attorney General acting deputy secretary Roselyn Gwaibo said family and sexual violence was a pervasive problem for many countries, “and PNG is no exception”.
“We all know of someone - a friend, a wantok or a colleague - who is regularly suffering from violence at home,” Gwaibo said.
“This cannot be acceptable. There is never any excuse for it and it is a terrible abuse.”
She said a recent study showed 68 per cent of women employees experienced an average of eight gender-based violence incidents during the past year.
“Family and sexual violence ruins lives. It permanently scares children and hinders their growth into responsible adults,” she said.
“In multiple ways, family and sexual violence stops PNG from moving forward as a country.”
Gwaibo was speaking yesterday during the launching of the guidelines to support a referral pathway of services for survivors of family and sexual violence.
She said efforts continue to be made, with the support of the Australian Government, to improve the rate of prosecution of criminal cases involving family and sexual violence by the police and public prosecutor.
 “We all have to do whatever we can to stop this cycle of violence repeating itself. This also means that the Government and NGOs must work together and play their part,” Gwaibo said. “The law is only ever going to be part of the answer. The Family Protection Act came into operation in 2014. Regulations under the act will be made shortly.”
Police have established 14 family and sexual violence units around the country.  “Moves are underway to establish a national gender-based violence policy to guide government policy and budget support for other initiatives,” Gwaibo said.