Awareness helping women fight violence

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WOMEN may be afraid of strangers, but it is a husband, a lover, a boyfriend or someone who they know that is most likely to hurt them, not only in PNG but across all social and economic boundaries, according to a women leader.
Previous research had established that two out of every three PNG women experienced domestic violence and around 50% had been subject to forced sex.
However, according to Ume Wainetti, the national programme coordinator of the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC), these researches were conducted some years back, adding that, at present, there was a good number of responses from women because of the rate of awareness.
Wainetti told The National yesterday that there had been an increase in reporting to service providers such as the police and hospitals, especially those who had been made aware of their rights.
“Because of the educational awareness the partners of FSVAC engage in, there has been an increase in domestic violence reports compared to previous years,” she said.
Wainetti revealed that PNG was said to have a high rate of domestic violence issues because PNG women tended to come out publicly and talk about their problems unlike women from other Pacific Island countries who were afraid or pretend that nothing was happening in their homes and their relationships.
She added that she was impressed with the response from their partners and private sectors especially with the development of the Meri Seif Haus.
“This is everybody’s fight and to fully address this, government bodies, private sectors and NGOs must stand together to develop internal policies on how they can best address this issue,” she said.