The National, Friday, May 6, 2011
FAMILY and sexual violence in PNG is widespread, pervasive and has a devastating impact on the lives of individuals, families and communities.
Head of Mission for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors without Borders, Akke Boere, said that violence whether it was domestic, intimate partner or sexual could have detrimental effects such as serious long term physical and emotional harm.
“This violence often takes the form of sexual, physical and emotional abuse by spouses, partners, family members or friends, it usually occurs in the place where a person should feel safest, their own home,” she said.
She said from MSF’s experience in Lae, Morobe, about 250 victims of family and sexual violence were seen per month and a quarter of these were sexual violence cases, the others were intimate partner or domestic violence cases, while in Tari more than 80 cases of family violence were seen per month.
Boere said one out of 20 victims were men who make up 5% of the survivors.
She added that there may be more violence cases, however, they were never reported because of people being unaware of the services being provided and possible apprehension in coming forward.
“We are trying to do more outreach and awareness on this issue, especially in villages that medical care and support is available for survivors of violence,” she said.
A victim of family and sexual violence can get help from MSF’s Family Support Centre in Lae’s Angau Hospital or Tari Hospital in Southern Highlands or call phone 323 5677 or email [email protected].