Crime hurts family

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By EHEYUC SESERU and MARJORIE FINKEO
WHAT’S happening in Papua New Guinea’s communities? More than 200 family and sexual violence cases have been reported in Lae and Port Moresby this year.
And we are only approaching the end of March.
In the NCD, police have lamented that domestic violence-related homicide is on the rise in settlements and wives are the majority of victims, with 23 cases reported between January and March.
Police have also appealed for more community campaigns to help raise public awareness on such violence to dissuade men from losing control and killing their wives in domestic fights.
Lae Police FSV Unit Officer-in-Charge Sgt Ruth Murup said police were working on more than 200 family and sexual violence cases since January, with most women survivors on the receiving end.
“In fact, more than 300 cases have been reported to us since January, with some victims only seeking advice,” she said.
“So we only talked with and referred them to other services, especially civil cases.”
“There are victims who wanted to seek legal advice from public solicitors and welfare officers. Cases with police alone is more than 200,” she added.
She said many women wanted justice by lodging police reports but they did not want to go through the court process.
“Some women reported their husband for abuses and violence at home.
“We brought in the husbands, talked to them about violence and the law, with warnings about laws protecting women.
“Some men are having negative perceptions about FSV and family support centres. They deemed such facilities as only for women and not men. We are responsible to help train male police officers on that as well.
“This would be specifically for officers to understand domestic violence and to help men and communities. About 85% of the complaints reported to this station are domestic violence.
“It’s a daily complaint, we need (community and government) support to check such rising violence,” she added.
NCD homicide Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Chief Sgt Ulagis Mantu said: “Many of the deaths are caused by men using knives, stones and other dangerous weapons to kill their wives in domestic quarrels.
“We must raise public awareness on such homicides to help dissuade men from losing control during domestic quarrels and turning violent,” he added.
Mantu said: “Investigations into 12 of the 23 cases have been completed with arrests and suspects charged in court. Seven cases were also alcohol-related fights leading to deaths in night clubs, and five due to domestic violence.”
He also identified ATS Block at 7-Mile, Vadavada Block, Erima, Morata and Gerehu as “black areas”.
“Churches, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), government (authorities) and other stakeholders should target settlements for awareness programmes to help raise awareness on homicide and domestic violence.
“(Counselling could help prevent) people from (turning) killing into a game. It’s a serious matter …”
Mantu said 11 cases of such homicides “are still under investigation”.
When contacted for a response on violence against women, PNG Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Roger Joseph said: “We are against domestic violence with women being the majority of victims. Men must respect the dignity of women.
“They are created equally by God and should be respected. It does not mean that (most) women are (physically) weak, they can be abused.
“Churches are and have been speaking or condemning today’s growing cases of domestic violence in the country,” he said.

2 comments

  • This is really happening in every family in this country. Lots of our women folks are dying every year when they try to put up with their husbands. Most of them are pretending to be good and hurting themselves psychologically because they have kids and no way to go. others who cannot control and fighting for their rights seem to ending up in jails…
    For instance, if the husband goes around cheating and the wife finds out one day and hurt the defector wife or the husband, the husband should be blamed for and charged first before the little wife who is only trying to protect her family.
    The husband should be penalized double times than the wife because he is the prime cause of the problem.

    why is the law of this country so biased to the women folks when the root cause of the problem lies solely on the husbands??? A woman will never ever start up something when the husband is faithful and innocent.

    Please, penalized the husband twice the wife. If the defector wife is murdered by the first wife in the course of argument, the husband should be given double times jail term than the wife. This would stop every family violence in our societies as men are the real cause.

  • GBV/ Domestic Violence is a complex matter but nevertheless needs to be dealt with holistically. Especially here in PNG where complex social issues are allowed to become complicated unnecessarily.
    I agree with Rose in her other points except where wives commit homicide by killing the other wife. That could become an escape ‘clause’ for some cunningly manipulative people. I’d rather say, the husband should be held accountable too (as an accomplice maybe), but taking a human life is still killing so the killer women still faces the law.

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