UN offers safety to survivors of violence
31 August 2022
The House of Hope provides emotional, physical and material assistance to restore the dignity of survivors of violence and to promote their recovery and empowerment
| United Nations Development Program PNG
PORT MORESBY - Since the beginning of this year, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through its partner Catholic Diocese of Mendi, has reached over 1,000 people through 17 awareness programs on sorcery accusation related violence (SARV).
Responding to the grave human rights violations resulting from SARV in Southern Highlands Province, the Catholic Diocese of Mendi actively advocates against the practice and provides post-violence victim recovery support through a safe house – the House of Hope.
The House of Hope has responded to the needs of 24 survivors (23 women and one man).
It has provided emotional, physical and material assistance to restore the dignity and promote recovery and empowerment of survivors.
It also works with perpetrators on behavioural change, the reintegration of survivors and reconciliation within communities.
Survivors received economic assistance in the form of livelihood projects, housing materials and semi-formal employment.
Community reintegration is a vital part of the holistic approach to recovery by responding to survivors’ needs while post-reintegration visits continue to be conducted to check in on survivors.
“Responding to sorcery accusation related violence must address both the needs of survivors as well as changing mindsets about the use of violence,” said UNDP officer-in-charge Edward Vrkic.
“Only by rejecting outright the use of violence can we prevent such abuses of human rights from recurring.
“UNDP remains committed to supporting local responses to inter-communal conflicts and sorcery accusation related violence in the Highlands.”
The UNDP’s ongoing program for survivors is supported by the United Kingdom government’s Pacific Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Program.
It is being implemented within the framework of the UN’s Highlands Joint Program for Peace and Development, a flagship peace-building program in the Highlands.
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