The death of the young mother in Port Moresby (as reported in Friday’s newspaper) has again caused us all to sit up and ask: When will this sin and crime of a man abusing his partner end?
We cannot allow this behaviour to continue and in the process cause the loss of lives.
It is a shame.
I have shared some of my views on social media about ways that MPs, the lawmakers, and educated men and women in PNG should take to lead a fight to stop this kind of violence.
Among those, we have to start asking if the police force is effective in helping fight this crime.
And, particularly, is the sexual offence unit effective?
Does it need more funds, more personnel and more support from the police command and the government, or are the officers in the unit just complacent?
The relatives of the victim reported the matter to police but the officers attending were ineffective in addressing this matter.
That itself is a matter of concern.
All those officers involved and the police station or unit concerned must be taken to task too.
I would like the police hierarchy to do something about this.
Hold some people responsible for negligence.
It is my view that our lawmakers in parliament (who have daughters and nieces) must now work together to start changing the laws governing domestic violence (DV), or any violence or form of threat.
For one thing, if there is suspicion of DV or disturbance in a home, it is the right of any neighbour (including people in that home) to call a police toll-free number and officers should be ready to respond to any calls 24/7.
This is what happens in some countries, including Australia.
Neighbours have the right to call the police to investigate any disturbance in the neighbourhood, whether is a fight or an ongoing noise.
I also think one of the weakest links in minimising these DV and related crimes is the laws we have as well as the breakdown in discipline and order in the law enforcing agencies.
How can they enforce law and order when some of the worst DV cases are taking place in barracks?
Some information regarding this was shared with some of us late last year by someone attached with the Port Moresby General Hospital who is doing research on DV and related cases.
She said some of the worst DV cases take place in homes of disciplinary force officers.
Think about this: If the lawmakers (politicians and MPs) and disciplinary forces can take this kind of crime seriously, I think we will see some changes, as in real enforcement of law and exerting penalties to those who are harassing, threatening or abusing others.
It is also my view that there must be a law that also governs the domestic life of each and every member of a disciplinary force.
If they have a partner living with them but they are not legally married, they should be urged to do so.
Those who marry, divorce, remarry and divorce again must be removed from the force.
Those who are violent in their own homes must be investigated and if found guilty, be taken off the force.
See my logic: If law enforcers are embroiled in their own domestic issues, how then can they effectively and professionally attend to a reported case of abuse in another home?
The recruitment process for disciplinary forces must include checking the background of applicants. If they have a history of bad relationships, they must not be enlisted.
In saying that, I know many officers are upright men and women.
I know some personally. But we must start raising the standard of the officers nonetheless.
People who are not disciplined must be ejected from the force.
I know of a situation too where a young woman who was abused by her boyfriend reported her case to the police.
But the way they responded to her plea to attend to her matter caused me to lose trust in the police force’s capability in handling such matters.
A law should be made to also prosecute any adult in the home or house who fails to report an ongoing domestic violence.
A few years back, a young mother lost her life in Port Moresby when the main suspect, her partner, used a handgun on her.
It was believed that the man’s relatives were also in the house but no one intervened.
We cannot allow such behaviour or attitude to continue.
MPs, our legislators, we urge you to take the lead and start enacting tougher laws to stop violence in our society.
I have made some suggestions for you on where to start.
Now, you make the move.
All violence is wrong