By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK
THERE is an increase in the number of abused mothers and children seeking refuge at Haus Ruth, a safe house, in Port Moresby since 2015, board member Cathy Johnson says.
Johnson said the victims suffered from domestic violence, sexual violence and other forms of violence – mostly from people who were closely related to them.
“It had increased from 546 in 2015 to 811 in 2018. And it has already gone up to 796 for the first 10 months of this year. The increase indicates that vulnerable women and children are facing more violence’s in their homes and need help,” Johnson said.
She spoke at the launch of a rally for city residents against violence against women and girls at City Hall last week. National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop hosted the rally.
Johnson said Haus Ruth at Ela Beach was one of the safe houses in Port Moresby and took in abused mothers and children seeking help.
“There were 317 females who sought help in 2015. It then increased to 422 in 2016 and 445 in 2017,” she said.
“It slightly dropped in 2018 to 419 due to the house been closed for three months for maintenance. And in 2019 for the first 10 months 420 females sought their assistance.”
Johnson said that there were 40 females under 18 years old who had sought their help in 2015.
“That increased yearly to 62 ( 2016) , 84 (2017), 80 (2018) and then 70 (2019). We also helped abused males under 12 years old at the safe house.
There were nine males who sought assistance in 2015, 26 in 2016, 33 in 2017, 32 in 2018 and 25 so far this year.”
Johnson said that Haus Ruth had also repatriated 28 abused women with their children to their respective provinces like Madang, Eastern Highlands, Central, Gulf, Western Highlands, East New Britain and Morobe this year. These women were repatriated to get away from their abusive husbands.
Haus Ruth is run by the City Mission and needs about K500,000 annually to operate. It receives funds from concerned people to help run the safe house.
By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK