Violent homes ‘lead’ to violent kids

National

Children will grow up to become violent if they witness constant violence in their homes, so the home must be the focal point in addressing gender-based violence, an official says.
Director of the Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) Simon Yanis told participants at the first national men’s forum in Port Moresby yesterday that children often copied behaviour in the home environment and it was important that violent behaviour was discouraged in the home if children were to be responsible and respectable citizens.
Yanis said children were often traumatised by violence in their homes and felt neglected.
“Not being able to speak out on what they saw happening around them made them close up and keep the hurt to themselves,
which over time grew on them, affecting them emotionally and sometimes psychologically,” Yanis said.
He said OCFS had big responsibilities to protect the rights of children and welfare issues of families through provision of services by implementing the Lukautim Pikinini Act and Child Protection policies.
Yanis said his office received an average of 25 clients per day, most of whom were women.
However, there have been visits by a few men seeking assistance.
Of the cases received daily, 50 per cent were mothers seeking child maintenance from estranged husbands, 25 per cent were battered wives seeking police assistance and 15 per cent were women seeking interim protection orders against abusive husbands.
The rest were cases of people seeking counselling and a neutral place to talk about gender-based violence issues affecting them.
Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Development Soroi Eoe said there must be a paradigm shift.
“We will take the lead in addressing violence against our mothers, our sisters, our daughters and wives,” he said. “I encourage all men and boys throughout PNG it’s time for action, we are no longer perpetrators and bystanders.”
He said men must stand together to say no to violence.

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