Papua New Guinea (PNG) has epidemic levels of family and sexual violence (FSV) directed against women and children. Few survivors currently receive the counselling, support and intervention they need to obtain protection, let alone justice.
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. With growing awareness and resourcing, there are more services now available (at least in some locations) for survivors. However, accessing these is complex, most services are not functioning properly and are under-resourced, and there is little by way of case management. As a result, despite the heroic efforts of individual service providers in different sectors, the outcomes for survivors are all too often tragic.
Worldwide, it is recognised 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 family violence support services are required to ensure the appropriate delivery of a full spectrum of services. Coordination across multiple sectors and organisations therefore plays an essential role in effective service provision, but this type of case management is missing throughout PNG.