By LULU MARK
THE response by Prime Minister James Marape and others in positions of authority, towards gender-based violence must be stronger, an official says.
Tessie Tahiti Ranu, the clinical manager of the medical social work department at the Port Moresby General Hospital, which also runs the Family Support Centre, said the responses so far in light of the late Jenelyn Kennedy’s case were not as strong as expected.
She said the injuries sustained by victims of such violence had worsened over the years, with some resulting in deaths.
Ranu said gender-based violence had become a pandemic in Papua New Guinea which must be addressed with urgency by everyone.
“It is a war that is causing a lot of deaths of women,” she said.
“Women are repeatedly coming for counselling – first from a slap, then black-eyes, then broken bones. The systems must help women and children. The systems need to be strengthened.”
Kennedy died last Tuesday allegedly after days of beatings at home. Her partner Bosip Kaiwi has been charged with wilful murder.
Ranu said people working in offices dealing with gender-based violence had the power to effect changes.
For example, the process to get an interim protection order (IPO) or permanent protection Order (PPO) against an abusive and violent partner would take too long, forcing the women to go back to the partner.
She said the centre operated inside the hospital and could only look at those under the age of 18 and women who had injuries.
But the centre also tried to help everyone who walked through the door as much as possible.
By LULU MARK