Act allows people to apply for court order


ONE can apply for a Family Protection Order in the district court or village court without the assistance of a lawyer, an official says.
State lawyer Serena Sasingian told a three-day workshop in Lae on the family protection legislation that the law allowed anyone to seek the order in court.
The workshop was attended by officers from the police, family support centres, village courts, welfare, community development and health. Sasingian is with the legal policy and governance branch of the Department of Justice and Attorney-General.
“The purpose of the Act is to promote safe, stable and strong families, prevent and deter domestic violence and ensure that there is effective legal protection for the victims of domestic violence,” she said.
Family and Sexual Violence Unit officer Sergeant Ruth Murup said the legislation would have a huge impact on police in addressing these issues.
“Taking out an IPO and protection order do not mean to break up marriage but to help the situation and make peace within the family unit,” she said.
She said in recent years, more than 250 cases of family violence had gone through the IPO process with most involving women. Less than 5 per cent were men.