Clare and her husband had a great first year of marriage. Everything was fine, until she became pregnant with their child. That was when everything changed.
Clare’s husband restricted her from socialising and told her to keep to herself. He even assaulted her while she was pregnant.
After Clare gave birth to their child, her husband started to have affairs with other women, and didn’t come home some nights.
Clare recalled her husband using anything he could find around the house to hit her with, including garden tools like spades. “He also got a drill and pushed it into my head,” Clare said when she showed the scar on her head after she got eight stitches.
Regardless of the ongoing abuse, Clare continued to pray and believed her husband would change and be a good husband and father. He would occasionally change his ways, but never for long.
Clare had to take her child, who was just a toddler, to stay with her family because her husband threw all her belongings out of the house. Clare had endured the ongoing abuse for over four years. She had also lost her previous job because of her husband, and was unemployed for a while. During the time she was unemployed and living with her family, her husband did not support her and their child. Clare finally got a new job and could support herself and her child. However, she still lived in fear, as she had been assaulted in public by him.
A counsellor at Clare’s new workplace told her to get help from a safe house in Port Moresby, which then referred her to the Family Support Centre (FSC). FSC referred Clare to Bel is PNG Case Management Centre, operated by Femili PNG, to get help. After a few weeks working with Clare, the Case Worker assigned to assist her helped Clare obtain an Interim Protection Order, which was later successfully converted to a Permanent Order.
Clare is grateful for the case management support to access other available services. She said, “I was always scared, but now I feel free.” Femili PNG’s Case Worker will continue to support Clare in accessing assistance from the Welfare and Public Solicitor’s office to get custody and maintenance support for her child.
Femili PNG is supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea as part of the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program.
If you are a survivor of family or sexual violence in PNG and require assistance, contact us.
* Not her real name