Ten PNG women and girls killed in four years in gender-based violence

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Newspaper headlines tell a tale of distressing gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea. Image: PNG Post-Courier

By Jeffrey Elapa in Port Moresby

About 10 women and girls in Port Moresby have become victims of gender-based violence and have ended their lives at the hands of brutal partners in the past four years.

Many of these reported cases were committed by educated, high class urban dwellers while few cases have been from rural communities.

Between 2016-2020, about 10 gender-based violence deaths have been reported, while other women have received severe and permanent injuries as a result of these violent acts.

READ MORE: Gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea – background to the issues

In March 2016, Monica Belioli Nagi, a 33-year-old from a mixed parentage from Bougainville and Australia was viciously beaten to near death by her boyfriend of three months.

About two months later on May 14, 2016, Regina Morove, 25, of mixed parentage PNG and Australia, was shot with a pistol allegedly by her lawyer husband. She was an auditor with accounting firm KPMG.

Former beauty queen Rubby-Anne Laufa was killed before her 25th birthday, allegedly by her boyfriend in February 2017. Laufa was a final year student at the Legal Training Institute.

In October 2017, the media industry lost senior journalist late Roslayn Albaniel Evara who was the business editor of the Post-Courier. She was alleged to have been a victim of gender-based violence as stated by her relatives.

Went to court – but faded
The matter went to court once in 2018 and faded.

In 2018, more girls and women became victims to abusive husbands and boyfriends.

In October 2018, a domestic argument led to the death of Laurel Koko Nakini Mulungu and her unborn child at ATS in the National Capital District.

In November, the same year, Grace Gavera was brutally killed by her partner at Erima in the National Capital. The partner was later arrested by police.

Another GBV death on the eve of Christmas 2018, a month after the death of Grace Gavera, was 20-year-old Solange Aiva Aitsi of Kairiku and Kerema parentage.

She was attacked by her partner over an argument that erupted at a family Christmas gathering on December 25.

In March 2019, a man killed his wife in Lae in a move to marry his stepdaughter. Also in May of 2019, Silingo Lamu from the Morobe Province and her daughters Irene Gabriella, Jenellyn and baby sitter Magi Molo were murdered in their house in Mt Hagen by her jealous husband.

Tortured to death
About six months after the killing of Lamu, (in October 2019) Ladona Olongo, 30, from Komo died after prolonged and continuous violent abuse in Port Moresby.

The latest is the death of Jennelyn Kennedy, the 19-young-old mother of two (mixed parentage of Kerema and Australia), who was alleged to have been tortured to death on Tuesday this week between 2pm-4pm at Korobesea in the National Capital District.

The accused is now in police custody charged with murder and investigations are continuing.

Many women continue to go through severe maltreatment from their husbands and sexual offenders.

Among them is Priscilla Wonga, a 25-year-old woman who was thrown out of the house by her policeman husband in 2016, and who suffered spine injuries. She is now completely paralysed.

In 2018, a brother-in-law of a woman in Lae had her genitals padlocked. The man had control over the woman in sexual bondage.

In another reported event, a man in Lae’s West Taraka poured kerosene and set fire to his wife in October 2007. She received third degree burns.

In the same months of 2007, another man in the East New Britain poured hot water on his wife’s head during an argument.

Jeffrey Elapa is a PNG Post-Courier reporter.

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