PNG media council calls for ‘silence’ on domestic violence to be broken


The Family, Sexual, Violence Actions office in Port Moresby has condemned news of women being violently abused in Papua New Guinea with manager Ruth Beriso calling on citizens to act and “stop being spectators”. Video: EMTV

Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk

The Media Council of Papua New Guinea is calling for an investigation into the untimely death of senior journalist and Post-Courier business editor Rosalyn Albaniel Evara.

“While the council respected the wishes of her immediate family to proceed with her burial, it acknowledges that the pain that Late Rosalyn had to endure is no longer just hers, and a pain that many more women in the country may be going through every day,” the MCPNG said in a statement.

Evara, 41, was rushed to hospital last week on October 15 after collapsing in her home.

She died in Port Moresby General Hospital later that day.

READ MORE: Pacific Media Watch coverage on this issue

Pacific Media Watch reports Evara’s funeral on Monday was overshadowed by abuse allegations, after her aunt, Mary Albaniel, said her niece had been a victim of violence.

“No to violence against women”. Image: Loop PNG

The MCPNG is now calling on PNG’s media fraternity to push for justice for the victims of gender-based violence.

“It has happened to one of our own, and it is time to acknowledge that it needs to stop.

Domestic violence ‘cancer’
“More needs to be said about this cancer, which thrives behind closed doors and breeds on fear,” it said.

The MCPNG said many female journalists in PNG suffered from violent and abusive relationships, which affected their work and families.

It said the media could no longer keep silent and must continue to report on the issue “despite cultural and social challenges”.

“It is not too late to help those who are living with the same fear she had to endure,” the MCPNG stated.

Human Rights Watch has stated PNG’s government has taken insufficient steps to address gender-based violence.

Described as an “emergency” which needs addressing in their 2015 report “Bashed Up: Family violence in Papua New Guinea”, domestic violence rates in PNG remain among the highest in the world and are rarely prosecuted.

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