This is the story of a woman who experienced violence after her husband died. She remarried to a man who promised to look after her and her children. However, when she settled in with him, she found herself abused and helpless. With support from Femili PNG and partners, she was assisted and is now living in her home province with her family.
Malia (*not her real name) was a widow and a single parent to her three children. She struggled every day to provide her children with shelter and food. After Malia’s husband died, her in-laws rejected her and the children. It was not an easy journey. As Malia was not from the same place as her late husband, she had no family, relatives or friends to ask for help. Because of the mistreatment by her in-laws, Malia left with her children and rented a small place which she paid for by selling betel nut. Every day, she strived to raise her children with the love and care they deserved.
After two years of living as a single parent, Malia met a man and they agreed to live together and raise her children. Malia and her three children moved in to her new partner’s house. She was happy to have met someone who would love her and her children.
However, not long after settling in, things started to change. Malia started to experience violence from the man, and her life with him turned bitter. She also found out that he had several wives and children. He never fulfilled what he promised; he was never supportive, loving or caring to Malia’s children. Malia faced physical, emotional, financial and verbal abuse that broke her heart into pieces. She again found herself struggling to support her children, and did everything possible to earn and provide food for them. They became homeless after her partner forced her and the children out of his residence.
Femili PNG’s intervention
In February 2022, Malia decided to report the matter to the police after an argument with the perpetrator. When hearing Malia’s story, the police officer referred her and the children to temporary safe accommodation. In addition, the police officer asked the perpetrator to attend the police station but he never showed up. He failed to pay the compensation as per the order issued by the village court. The safe accommodation provider referred the case of Malia and her children to Femili PNG. Femili PNG supported Malia and her children with food, clothing, and transportation to and from the hospital for treatment while they were at the safe accommodation.
Being from another province and having no nearby family to ask for help, Malia decided to return to her home village in the Gulf Province. In October 2022, Malia and her children flew to Port Moresby and later to Gulf province. A Femili PNG caseworker accompanied Malia as part of the reintegration with her family.
Malia’s family were excited to have Malia and children back home. They thanked Femili PNG and all the service providers that were involved in supporting Malia and her children.
Malia is happy that she and children are finally in her home village, reunited with her immediate family who are supporting and accepting them unconditionally.
Femili PNG acknowledges support from the Australian Government through PNG AUS partnership to assist and touch the lives of women like Malia.
If you are a survivor of family or sexual violence in PNG and need assistance, contact us.
If you would like to help us support survivors like Malia, you can donate here.
*Not her real name.