Two of our dedicated Papua New Guinean staff shared their stories about their work supporting survivors of family and sexual violence at the Lae Case Management Centre, and what motivates them.
Denga’s story (Operations Director – Lae)
I currently work with Femili PNG as the Operations Director in Lae, overseeing all the operations of the Lae Case Management Centre (CMC) in Morobe Province. I have been working with this organization for over four years now and watched it grow.
I first joined Femili PNG in 2014 as a Case Worker when the Case Management Centre started in Lae. My main role as a Case Worker was to manage cases of survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and child abuse who were referred to the CMC by partner service providers. As a Case Worker back then, I worked directly in collaboration with the available service providers, which includes other NGOs and government agencies (such as the police, district court, safe houses, business sector, welfare and family support centre). By working together, survivors are supported in accessing the available services they need. As part of case management, family tracing is done for our clients,including relocation and reintegration of clients back into their families, for those who have decided to end the violence in their lives through a legal separation.
Organizations like Femili PNG are very critical and essential to providing holistic care to survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and child abuse. Femili PNG support for a survivor starts when they enter a service referral pathway until they receive the care they need.
But it’s very challenging for our Case Work team when it comes to dealing with clients.
Sometimes, a client may change their mind about having her husband charged, someeven blame themselves for the abuse. Sometimes there are delays from other services in responding to cases.
Regardless of the many challenges faced by the team, the CMC has had a lot of triumphs and it has been very satisfying and rewarding for me personally. Some of these include: having survivors access all the services they need, supporting survivors to end violence in their lives by relocating and reintegrating them to where they are safer, collaborating with the serviceproviders in building a stronger network, and so on. But the most rewarding thing for me is to see a smile on the face of a woman or child, who after going through a lot of abuse can now find comfort and have the feeling of being supported. This motivates me and the Femili PNG staff to reach out to help more survivors.Now with Femili PNG operating a Case Management Centre and Safe House in Port Moresby, many more people undergoing family and sexual violence will receive the help that they need through a close collaboration of Femili PNG and the existing core service providers.
The funding we receive is very helpful. Every client supported by CMC extends their heartfelt thank you. Many times this is said with tears in their eyes, and this shows how much the survivors appreciate the services made possible through the funds received. This money directly benefits a lot of lives and will continue to reach out to more souls who have experienced much suffering.
I have been with Femili PNG since 2014 and I currently work as the Assistant to the Administrator.
I started with the organization as a Support Worker, which involved helping the Case Workers on follow-up if they are not available, attending to a new client, purchasing clients’ food and other things that the Case Workers needed me to do.
Now working as the Admin-Assist, my main role is to assist the Administrator with general admin and finance work. This also includes assisting all Femili PNG staff when they request funds to purchase client’s food, clients’ repatriation, and requests from the other departments within Femili PNG to carry out their duties.
Being one of many survivors of violence made me very interested in working for Femili PNG. The organisation has helped me a lot to overcome the effect of the violence that I myself experienced. Though I sometimes feel traumatized seeing mothers who were badly physically assaulted in my daily work, I now understand and comprehend that women, children and other vulnerable groups in this country actually have the right to live in a happy family and a safe community. Femili PNG also provides in-house training, such as the Trauma Informed Care training which has helped to deal with my personal trauma.
From what I have seen in my work, I can say that Femili PNG meets one of the biggest needs in PNG. From my past experience in working closely with the Case Workers, I’ve witnessed how badly women can be beaten by their husband or partners, and have seen and heard stories from little girls who are survivors of sexual abuse at a very young age. I believe that Femili PNG helps a lot of the survivors to acquire justice, and supports the survivors if they would like to pursue legal recourse. Working with Femili PNG has also enabled me to understand the referral pathway. I now know where to go and what to do when facing this type of violence. Also, I can guide my neighbors and friends if they are experiencing these types of violence and I can advise them on how to access services.
Personally, being a survivor of violence myself, I would like to encourage everyone who are experiencing violence that there is help available. Come out and share your stories to your friends or neighbours who may be able to help you in one way or another. The more we keep this matter to ourselves, we will never find a way to solve it.