Safe house against family violence in PNG province

Family violence safe house

Nuns in East New Britain are setting up the first safe house for victims of family violence in the Papua New Guinea province.

The Daughters of Mary Immaculate Sisters (FMI) Sisters are setting up the safe house because of a local family violence problem..

They’re working in partnership with the Archdiocese of Rabaul and non-governmental groups (NGOs)

The safe house will give sanctuary to women and children who have experienced family or sexual violence.

Survivors will in addition be able to access services such as healthcare, police and legal aid.

Islands Petroleum, one of the project’s main supporters, has donated $NZ4,200 to help the safe house.

The Archdiocese of Rabaul provided land.

Donors have supplied shipping containers, which will form the basic safe house.

The FMI sisters are training as fulltime staff.

NGOs concerned with family welfare will refer survivors.

FMI congregation leader Sister Wilhelmina Sundu says the founder of FMI set up the women congregation, because he found that women’s status in Papua New Guinea culture was very low.

Mission to lift women’s status

Sundu says the FMI congregation wants to raise the dignity of women in Papua New Guinea (PNG) society.

Sundu says with the support from the archbishop, Volunteers Service Abroad and the NGOs the planning is finally almost done.

The FMI sisters see the safe house as a practical way of exercising their mission, to help people in trouble.

She says the church had a part to play in combating gender-based violence.

Sundu says the main cause for sexual and family abuse against women and children is often because of the culture of men wanting more power.

She says there are some bad aspects of traditional culture that need to end, such as men having power over women and children.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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