Support for fight against violence


AS one of two longest-serving volunteer male advocates on gender-based violence in PNG, I have finally decided to comment on this issue.
This follows numerous comments and concerns raised from all sectors of the society in the public media.
My colleague Sgt Roland Funmat, formerly of the Kokopo police station, will agree with me that it is good to see the increasing number of men getting involved in GBV.
They are getting involved in discussions and participating in activities organised by churches and under the new leadership of Youth Religion and Community Development Minister Soroi Eoe and secretary Anna Solomon.
A number of prominent men had come on board very briefly over the last 30 years.
Some have participated as an employment requirement while a few have remained as pure volunteers. Several secretariats were launched under Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council and the National Family Sexual Violence Action Committee.
They became disoriented over time due to different directives from funding authorities including UNICEF and Save the Children.
When each of these funding authorities reached their project timeline and withdrew funding, staff, logistics and organised strategies became saturated and were left in disarray.
One of the latest victims of these arrangements is Eastern Highlands Family Voice, a prominent national entity established by the late Naomi Yupae and a group of likeminded people, in Goroka and Eastern Highlands.
This organisation became the most-successful focal point for all non-government organisations (32 at one point) in the Highlands and Madang.
International donors must be discouraged from directing Papua New Guineans on what to do.
You can provide the necessary funding and logistics, but leave us to organise ourselves and handle our own issues.
I suggest the Government take a strong stand on this issue.
It is good to note the increasing number of men getting involved in raising issues regarding wife beating, child abuse, neglect, sorcery-related violence, gun violence, family and sexual violence, and more.
One area of GBV that is never discussed in PNG is the power exerted between those in authority and their subjects: Teacher-student, health worker-patient, priest-parishioner, employer-job seeker, and more.
This level of GBV must be exposed together with husband-wife mentality that PNG is so imbedded with.
The recent call by the Department of Community Development to have ‘men only’ meet and talk about these issues is a correct way to begin with.
This is especially to have in-depth discussions regarding why incidences of the above are too frequent in our society.

Gerard Saleu