By HELEN TARAWA
The Government should establish an office to oversee and monitor performances of agencies providing counselling assistance to victims of domestic and gender-based violence.
This was one of the recommendations that the PNG Counselling and Consultation Service had given following its study on the statistics and data it had collected through a weekly programme on FM100.
Director Allan Tagai said 1412 cases in three months spoke volumes about the issues of domestic violence that went unaddressed and unnoticed.
He said 385 (27.3 per cent) cases reported in the three months wanted some form of intervention.
They reported that they had enough of pain and disturbances in the home and in the family but did not know how to stop violence.
“Nearly half of the total cases reported needed counselling and some cases were traumatic and needed trauma counselling,” he said.
“The statistics shows that 437 (31 per cent) cases requested for some form of counselling, which is very high indeed. Many of these cases reported were for the first time and that is alarming.
“Only 117 (8.3 per cent) of cases asked for police help – this goes to show that many do not understand that domestic violence is a crime and it is against the law and must be reported to police.
“Many clients also feared that if they reported the perpetrators to police, they would be tortured or beaten up so they refused to report the cases.
“There was also fear that the perpetrator would be locked up in prison without appearing in court, so there was also fear in reporting the matter to police.
“Many have accepted it as norm, thinking that it is okay for men to beat up his wife. After much education and awareness on radio, they came out clearly and were willing to share their stories.”
He is calling on authorities not to turn a blind eye but to take action as this is a big problem throughout the country.
By HELEN TARAWA