New safe house eyed to assist victims


THE Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and the Solomon Islands will be launching a Catholic Safe House Association in June to build a network among agencies to provide further services to victims of violence.
Madang Safe House representative Sr Thecla Gamog addressed the Catholic Bishops, agencies and media, saying the association linked four safe houses run by Catholic Mission in the country.
These safe houses were located in Wewak, Kokopo, Bougainville and Madang.
The church will be looking into building one in Port Moresby, Lae and move onto the Highlands region because of increasing number of violence against women and girls.
Gamog said the association was a network of small agencies that had been providing temporary shelter for battered women and their children and victims of family and sexual violence.
The association will work closely with the Department of Community Development and Religion, police, hospital, family and sexual violence unit and civil society.
The church is calling on international and non-governmental organisations and Catholic houses with potential for true justice for women who often struggled to access paralegal service.
Sr Thecla said the association would improve their 24-hour hotline call service to improve coordination and referral pathways.
“The main funding and support from church partnership programme through Caritas Australia, also acknowledged the input of the church ministry,” she said.