By Janet Kari in Lae, PNG
Prosecution of perpetrators of gender-based violence around the country still remains a massive problem for Papua New Guinea, says National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop.
He said while the issue of GBV continued to escalate in the country, perpetrators were not being brought to account and this gave them a “licence to continue”.
Parkop said this while addressing a workshop conducted by United Nations Women in Lae last week.
“We need to fix this referral pathway, because we cannot let perpetrators of GBV [avoid] the law for their actions.
“It is simply hard for women who are victims and survivors of GBV to go and get the support they need in terms of counselling, medical support and court, and for some it is hard to get justice,” Parkop said.
“Most are not able to get justice due to lack of financial support and other factors.
“There must be a support system established so that victims of GBV cannot go back to abusive relationships where some of them end up losing their lives.
“It is important that we fix this referral pathway and allocate money and resources to effectively address this…..because despite work done over the years to address GBV issues in the country, this has not changed the dynamics.”
He said all stakeholders, including the government and political leaders, must ensure that this issue was dealt with and must not be something that the future generation could continue to do.
A participant in the gathering and an advocate of GBV in Lae, Nellie McLay, said there was a serious need for the government to look at recommendations made some years ago and implement these to help address the issue of GBV.
McLay said women were important, equal to men and were bearers of human beings, the most important resources in the world.
But many women in PNG continued to be abused, tortured and some killed at the hand of their partners, she said.
Several participants said that when there was not much support given to victims of GBV, women continued to stay in abusive relationship and this needed to change.
Janet Kari is a PNG Post-Courier reporter.