Case management

Family and Sexual Violence in PNG: The issue


Papua New Guinea (PNG) has extreme levels of family and sexual violence (FSV) directed against women and children.

Few survivors receive proper medical care. Even fewer receive the counselling, support and intervention they need to obtain protection, let alone justice.

These survivors of FSV need a range of services, from emergency medical and psycho-social care to emergency shelter, police protection, legal recourse, and vocational training.

Donor support and government effort has been allocated to community work (such as child protection activities), police, and legal branches of government to support survivors. However, the efforts of these agencies in practice are at best sporadic, and diversion of resources to other areas is frequent. NGOs and churches are also increasingly mobilising to support survivors, but their efforts suffer from a lack of resources, co-ordination and technical expertise.

With growing awareness, there has been some progress in terms of legislation and plans. There are also are more services now available in PNG (at least in some locations) for survivors of FSV, with a growing number of safe houses for survivors and police units set up to address gender-based violence. However, accessing these services is complex. Most services are not functioning properly and are under-resourced, and there is little holistic case management.

One indicator of this is that the estimated probability of a sexual violence case involving a female or child victim in Lae being successfully prosecuted are 1:338 and 4:192 respectively, indicating that sexual violence can be committed in Lae with impunity.

Worldwide, it is recognized that effective management of FSV requires a criminal justice response, as well as a range of support services. At the service delivery level, linkages between the police, courts, hospitals, women’s refuges, health and domestic and FSV support services are required to ensure the effective delivery of a full spectrum of services. Co-ordination across multiple sectors and organisations plays a central role in effective service provision in FSV services, and this is recognised in the central role that case management play in all such response strategies.

Recent PNG-wide analysis indicates that while improvements have been made in providing medical and psycho-social care to victims, and advocacy efforts have intensified, there is a gap in relation to case-management. That is the gap which this program aims to fill. While there are various efforts underway, there is a lack of proper resourcing, coordination and documentation at the required scale. This CMC will build on existing knowledge within PNG, regionally and internationally to develop a replicable, evidence-based best-practice model for effective FSV case management in PNG.

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