Helpless mom confronts open defiance of law

Weekender
JUSTICE

SUCH was the open defiance of a man who has allegedly been divorced because of infidelity. Police have also charged him for sexual offences committed against his biological children based on medical evidence.
It makes the mother in the story view our justice system as a lethargic beast that has long lost the good fight. Instead of serving all equally, the system selects who to fight for or defend, she thinks.
This is a continuation of Julia’s story which ran in the Weekender on Feb 19 this year
For those who have not read the story here are a few lines from it. Although there were red flags along the way, the mother of four young children chose to ignore those warnings and gave her whole heart to the man she had loved.
In 2017 the verbal, psychological and physical abuse just got so unbearable she had to leave. It reached a point where the man not only cheated on her but also sent pornographic images of his activities with other women to her.
“He was very abusive toward me, I still bear the scars of the abuse. He cheated on me; I caught him several times,” says Julia.
“In 2019, while we were already separated, he did porn with other ladies and send pictures to me.
Having divorced the man, she thought the proper thing to do was to let the children’s father still have access to them. They were by then living with their grandmother (husband’s mother) in Port Moresby.
When she returned to the city she went to reassure them.
“I told them ‘I’m here. I just divorced your father but I can’t take you to where I am but I will visit you from time to time.
“But I could tell from their physical appearance that all was not well.” They pulled her aside and the first born son told her about how he was sexually assaulted by their father’s step brother in their grandmother’s home.
“The father did nothing when told about the incident.”
Julia’s whole world felt like it was crumbling all around her.
“I immediately called the Boroko Sexual Offences Squad (SOS) and had a medical check later proved that my boy had been abused.”
But that was not all.
Earlier, in 2017 when she was separated from her husband the second born daughter was in the care of her father.
One day, when Julia went to see her, the daughter complained about pains in her private parts but she did not take that seriously.
But in 2020 when she called from her husband’s home town, the child again said the same thing.
Julia travelled to Port Moresby and took all the three children in for medical checks.
“The father was called in and I could sense panic in him. The medical checks proved that my daughter had also been abused. I almost broke down.
“My daughter had been abused by a relative of her father’s and later by the father himself.
She approached the metropolitan superintendent and the regional commander about the case and they had issued orders to arrest the perpetrators again.
Since then no further progress has been made on the case.
Julia says it is a lonely battle but she was patient and prayed to God through it all.
She says she had lived with sorcery, adultery, a divorce and now the sexual abuse of her children including incest.
What happened since
Since we published her story Julia has not tried desperately to seek help by authorities but one of her children has been taken from her in total defiance to a standing permanent restraining order.
All of her is screaming, “What kind of system is this!?”
Julia (not her real name) first approached us to write about her plight with the hope that police, the courts and other persons in positions in authority to help could read about her and do something. Anything to reassure her that she does not have to suffer the way she does and those responsible for causing her so much trouble would be dealt with or at least restrained from continuing.
But that was a mistake or a false hope apparently.
She now has not only to attempt to bring justice to those who has sexually abused two of her four children. The perpetrators include the children’s own father.
Julia’s ex-husband allegedly kidnapped their first born son in defiance of a standing permanent restraining order. When she reported this the police, even the prosecutor who had served the order was unable or unwilling to apprehend the husband and bring him to court.

Court documents don’t mean anything. You’re still my wife! (Kot pepa em ol pepa nating.)

She could not allow her young children to go to school because she feared for their welfare and safety anywhere where are vulnerable and where they can be easily reached by their father.
Even when he had been directed to attend court hearings for having breached the restraining orders, the defiant ex-husband failed to attend three consecutive hearing. Even then the police could not touch him. Why?
“He told the police prosecutor who confronted him about the breach of the orders that he had intentionally done that just to be able to get his son.”
Julia was told that her statements made to police differed from the police statements used to make the permanent restraining order.
After their separation, Julia tried to claim child maintenance for the four children but the ex-husband didn’t attend those court hearings as well.
In a mysterious way, her court file had been lost and she has simply lost the fight to start the process all over again.
Her case was to have been heard and a ruling made last November but that was moved to March 17 this year. But when Julia appeared in court for her case on the date, she was told that her case was nowhere to be found.
“It has been a very frustrating run. There is no hope for me in the country justice system now. I see that running to court, even with genuine and straightforward cases such as mine, as a waste of time when people in there are not making any extra effort to help.
As a woman and citizen Julia feels utterly let down by people working in offices that have been established to assist people like her who run there for assistance when fighting is of no use.
She is raising the children without any support from their father because her file has been lost somewhere and no one has made an attempt to locate it to process it and eventually make an order for the man to assist her in providing for the children.
If that is the manner the civil case has been handled, what hope is there for her to persue the criminal case of child sex abuse against her husband and his relative?
Her former husband’s family are very protective of him. The mother shouted “false allegation” at the police station when Julia laid a child sexual abuse complaint and medical reports at the police station.
“I told the police prosecutor, “Did you hear that? She says it’s a false allegation when you have medical reports to prove the incidents of rape! I broke down there and cried because of the way the police is seen to be quite unable to reassure me that the law is on my side.
“I see going to court as a waste of time and effort. It has come to point where I have to decide whether to run to court only to have my cases deferred or provide for my children.
I have decided to concentrate on providing for my children because neither their father nor my own family are very supportive in providing for our daily needs.
“My greatest concern is my children’s safety. I’m scared for my daughter. The man (ex-husband) is a monster now. I don’t want my daughter anywhere near him.”
But even working for herself has been risky as well.
“My ex-husband tries to frustrate me everywhere I turn. He has contacted the two drivers I had engaged to work on my truck. I have now grounded the vehicle and keeping a very low profile. Even getting on public transportation is not safe for me.”
Since her story wen public on Feb 19, an official at the Department of Justice and Attorney General has spoken to Julia offering her some advice and direction as to how to go about resurrecting the civil and criminal proceedings against those concerned.
She is appreciative of the help from that end.
However, her hope to seek refuge in a foreign land burns all the more fiercely.

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