Femili PNG continues to provide effective case management services to survivors of Family and Sexual Violence (FSV) residing in Port Moresby from the subscribing companies and the public.
Femili PNG’s case management goal is to help survivors of FSV to get the help they need. Femili PNG caseworkers strives daily to coordinate and collaborate with service providers such as the police, court, safe houses, Family Support Centre (FSC) in order to assist the need of the survivors in regards to arrest, safety and protection, welfare, and their practical needs.
Over the last few months, the Bel isi Case Management Centre (CMC) has helped survivors achieve their goals, including police arrests in four of its cases. The on-going coordination and case discussion with police leads to increase in number of arrest. On case-to-case basis, Femili PNG also assist survivors to access specialized medical care and referral of FSV survivors to the Welfare Office for appropriate welfare interventions. In addition, nine (9) Interim Protection Orders (IPOs) were lodged and five (5) were granted by court, IPO summons were served to the perpetrators with the help of the police.
Providing safe accommodation is necessary for many Family and Sexual Violence high-risk survivors. Over the last few months, 23 survivors were assisted with emergency safe accommodation.
Below is a story of a client assisted.
Esme* (*Not her real name) is a 12 year old girl who experienced child abuse perpetrated by her maternal aunt and her aunt’s husband.
In December 2021, Esme’s aunt took her from Lae to Port Moresby with a promise to her parents that she would enroll Esme in school to get a better education. However, it was not long before the good treatment turned into abuse. Esme never went to school as promised. Instead, she went through various forms of abuse such as physical assault, child labor, and emotional and verbal abuse. Since Esme moved to Port Moresby and being away from her parents, she never had a chance to speak to them.
Esme recalled, “On a Wednesday morning, my aunt asked me to fetch water for her to shower, I was moving slowly because I just woke up from sleep but my aunt lost her patience and physically assaulted me.”
Esme was in pain and in tears from the physical assault. Before leaving her, her aunt threatened to hit her again when she returns home. Esme knew that her aunt would do what she said, and she feared her aunt. With fears and tears in her eyes, Esme ran away from the house to Gordons Market. While Esme was alone in the market area, a kindhearted woman approached and asked her if she was ok. Esme told the woman about the abuse and the woman took Esme to her house and took care of her for few days. The woman’s son who happens to be a police officer took Esme to Boroko Police Station and reported the case.
During the case registration at the police station, Esme was too emotional and refused to return home to her aunt and the husband. On the same day, the case of Esme was referred to Femili PNG in collaboration with Boroko FSVU office. Esme was assisted with temporary safe accommodation while her case was on investigation. During one of the case follow-ups with Esme, she verbalized her wish to be reunited with her parents and she also like the perpetrators to be charged accordingly.
The police charged the perpetrators, issuing them with verbal warning: not to repeat such mistreatment or make breakable promises. The police officer heard the perpetrators’ reasons in committing the abuses but emphasized that these are not an excuse in committing forms of child abuse towards Esme.
In collaboration with the Police, Esme was reunited with her parents. A female police officer from the Boroko FSVU office personally volunteered to accompany the child and returned her to her parents.
Due to effective coordination within and among service providers including police, welfare and safe house, Esme received successful interventions and reunited with her family in Lae in early January 2023.
Femili PNG acknowledges support from the Bel isi PNG Initiative and the Australian Government and PNG Government through the PNGAUS partnership in helping to continue to provide care, support and change toward survivors of FSV.
*Not her real name