Lae is a very promising location in Papua New Guinea in which to begin an effort to address the gaps in services for survivors of family and sexual violence (FSV).
Lae is the second largest city in Papua New Guinea with a population of 78,000 (National Census, 2000).
The Angau General Hospital Family Support Centre (FSC) in Lae, with support from the international NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), has been providing treatment to about 3,000 FSV survivors a year. However, the explicit focus of these activities is medical and psychosocial care, and success in this area has only served to further highlight the weaknesses in other sectors. Those 3,000 women and children being seen by the FSC every year provide a base with which a case-management centre can begin to work.
MSF handed over management of the FSC in Lae to Angau Hospital in June 2013.
The CMC will not take the place of any service provider in Lae. Rather it will work with all those – the Family Support Centre, the two Lae safe houses, the police, the prosecutors’ office, the orphanage, government social workers, and other NGOs – who have a role to play in protecting survivors.
A Lae Advisory Council is made up of key stakeholders involved directly in service delivery at senior level across the range of essential FSV sectors. We will work closely with and be guided by those with expertise in FSV services and in delivering those services within the context of the Lae community.
While the CMC will begin in Lae, we hope it will have a national impact. By working with those in other parts of the country who are engaged in similar endeavours, and by offering training in case management, we hope we can disseminate good practice and lessons learnt.