80% of women victims of violence


FAMILY and sexual violence is a huge human rights issue that affects the growth of the economy in Papua New Guinea, an official says.
Regional manager for the National Aids Council Secretariat (NACS) Valentine Tangoh said two-thirds of the women in the country were victims of violence.
“Which means nearly 80 per cent of our women folks in the country experience different forms of violence such as rape, sexual harassment, incest, physical, verbal, emotional, physiological, cohesive control, cultural or religious violence, Tangoh said.
“Of that, 75 per cent of the women and girls and even men face family and sexual violence so it’s a huge human rights issue in the country.”
Tangoh said 55 per cent of all sexual violence cases in the country dealt with the abuse of children under 16 years old.
“Family and sexual violence is not a private matter but a criminal offence and you cannot injure another person without the full force of the law coming down hard on ofenders,” he said.
“Domestic violence thrives when we are silent and not doing anything about it and it is important that state agencies and private sectors as well as the communities and most importantly, the Government through our elected Members of Parliament must take this issue seriously into their development plans if we want to really see the issue being addressed.
“It’s an issue that is costing the welfare and prosperity of an individual person, a family, a community and of course costing the growth and development PNG as a whole,” Tangoh said.
He said the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence was very high, especially among populations – sex workers, men who have sex with men,  transgenders and people living with HIV/AIDS.