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Forgotten People

New Lae facility supports survivors of family & sexual violence


DespairAUSTRALIA’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop last week announced $3 million over three years from the Australian aid program to fund the Papua New Guinea Family and Sexual Violence Case Management Centre (CMC).

The CMC will commence operations later this year with the goal of improving access to services for survivors of family and sexual violence.

Ume Wainetti, CMC Management Committee member and National Coordinator of the PNG Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, said that establishing case management services in the country is essential for the protection of survivors of violence.

“We have stories of so many of our women who we have been treated at Family Support Centres and kept at safe houses, and then when we send them home they have been murdered,” Ms Wainetti said.

“That is because we lack the facilities and skills to manage the cases properly so that proper assistance is given to these women before they are resettled in their communities.

“This funding will help address this gap and this centre in Lae will become a model for the development of effective case management services around the country to improve support for women, children and families.”

The Lae Advisory Council has been established to represent stakeholders in the community.

“The CMC will not be taking over any service, but will be working with partners to provide better responses for women and children who have been at the receiving end of family and sexual violence,” Ms Wainetti said.

“These women and children need health services, and often shelter, legal intervention and protection. We will work with service providers to help women and children access these services.

“We are very grateful to the Australian Government for their support. We have been waiting for something like this for a long time, and really think the CMC could make a big difference not only in Lae but throughout PNG.” 


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Mrs Barbara Short

My heart goes out to the women and children who have been victims of family and sexual violence. I pray that the CMC will be able to use this money to help them more effectively.

I remember in the past helping a Tolai lady teacher and her children when I was running a school in New Ireland. I gave her a job to get away from her cruel husband.

When I visited Rabaul he turned up to confront me and attack me but I listened to him, while members of the United Church watched and prayed nearby. Suddenly he had a change of heart and was apologising profusely for what he had done to his wife.

This sort of work is dangerous and yet can be the most rewarding.

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