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Covid-19 & the urban poor

Gender violence: Much at stake in Jennelyn case

JenelynBUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY - Never has a court case concerning domestic violence captivated the nation like the one involving Bosip Kaiwi, charged for the wilful murder of his partner, Jennelyn Kennedy.

Already there are public concerns about how police are handling the situation; concern justified based on many accounts of police officers failing to carry out their duties diligently and without favour or bias.

The honest and dedicated police officers seem to be outnumbered by bad coppers who are tainting the image of the force.

And all this exacerbated by other high profile cases swept under the rug.

The result is obvious - public trust and confidence in the police force has been eroded to an extent where its members are treated with disdain and doubt.

One gets the feeling that we are reaching a breaking point in our nation's history as people lose trust in the justice system.

This frustration was on full display at the media conference with the family of Jennelyn Kennedy.

It seems just a matter of time before we witness a nation engulfed in jungle justice where people will take the law into their own hands.

In a country already marred by revenge killing, the last thing we want is for the justice system to fail totally.

BosipCould Jennelyn Kennedy’s's death and Bosip Kaiwi's court case be a watershed moment in our nation's ability to address gender based violence? The majority of Papua New Guineans would like to think so.

Certainly, since the story of Jennelyn's death, revelations of other similar cases of gender brutality have swept the country.

Depending on how the Bosip Kaiwi court case goes, more similar stories will emerge and the more difficult it will be for the government to ignore public outcry with sweet words and mere promises of action.

Jennelyn’s death seems to have awoken a new sense of awareness among not just amongst women but amongst men of the need for the strongest curb on gender based violence.

If men can take the lead – as indeed they should – this will go a long way to changing the big picture.

As the nation follows every step of Bosip Kaiwi's court case, the police and those who are the vanguard of our justice system should know and appreciate the pandemic scale of the GBV problem.

Police and members of the justice fraternity should be acutely aware that every Papua New Guinean will intently follow this case.

How it is handled and the final outcome will go a long way in determining whether GBV can be brought under control in PNG.

It will also determine whether interventions such as referral pathways have been worthwhile investments or just sops to public opinion.

So much hangs in the balance with the court case. For the sake of Jennelyn, her children and family and the future of our nation, we need justice to be served in it's true spirit as enshrined in our national constitution.

Comments

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Justin Kundalin

If justice does not prevail in Jennelyn's case, PNG's judiciary and police task forces will be seriously questioned by the general public across the country.

Michael Dom

This human problem is not helped by statements like this:
"Domestic violence is a different kind of pandemic in PNG which requires immediate action to stop, an official says.
“Like coronavirus, it requires immediate action to stop – justice to hold perpetrators to account, health services to treat wounds, housing for women and children, opportunities for women to earn and control their own income so they can build a better life,” UN Women’s country representative Susan Ferguson said."

Kindin Paulus Ongugo responds precisely:
"It is NOT a pandemic.
It is endemic and becoming an epidemic when incidence rise.
Pandemic is an epidemiological term used when a disease or illness hits globally with a sudden increase in incidence."

More balanced language is better:
"UN resident coordinator Gianluca Rampolla said violence against women and children was a scourge.
“Civil society, including churches and unfunded women’s organisations, continue to carry much of the burden for this emergency,” Rampolla said."

These voices both in the same news article (https://www.thenational.com.pg/domestic-violence-a-pandemic-in-png-un/).

If people want to use medical analogies then it is better to look at domestic violence as a cancer.

DV can be treated and cured by various means, and like a cancer, some forms become malignant (perpetrators who may become criminal) while others remain benign (others need counseling).

Responsible advocates in the agenda of domestic violence should speak with patience and deeper understanding.

Our words must speak for peace not for strife

Just as we all may call and raise our motifs
"Justice for Jenelyn" is our fervent belief
Our words must speak for peace not for strife
In this fundamental agenda of human life
The 'balance of power' between husband and wife
Is a tethered victim and we hold the knife

In anger 'will to power' comes like a thief
What we say may cause more harm and grief
Our words must speak for peace not for strife
Power between the sexes is not All There Is In Life
Choosing to rule and/or to live as husband and/or wife
Now, let us untie the bounds and let go the knife

Our words must speak for peace not for strife.

Thomas Gavia

Gender based violence must be stopped altogether.

I am truly interested in what the Department of Community Development and Religion has in store to legislate, including the push for the death penalty to be effected on perpetrators.

The Police Minister and Police Commissioner must come down tough on these police personnel who are rough and unfit to enforce the law. All safe houses in the country must make it their responsibility to have at least 2 to 3 counselors with the support of the department.

Proper staff must be put in place to foster and care for these vulnerable people who run to them. At the heart of it all, this issue must be weeded out from the family setting.

Home is where everything starts and therefore to fight this beast we must ensure that proper values and beliefs are practiced at home regardless of what religion and beliefs we all have.

Children must be nurtured from home to respect elders, respect their peers and opposite sex. Respect the culture, society and environment we all share.

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