Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced $370,000 for four Family and Sexual Violence (FSV) units in Papua New Guinea, offering support for women escaping domestic violence or looking to make complaints of sexual assault.
Speaking on the eve of a four-day visit to Papua New Guinea, Senator Carr said the units would be based at PNG police stations and staffed by local officers with specialised training in dealing with complaints of domestic or sexual violence.
“Research shows two in three PNG women have suffered from domestic violence and up to half are at risk of sexual assault,” Senator Carr said.
“These Family and Sexual Violence units — co-located with police stations — give PNG women a safe environment to escape attack and report offences.
“Officers working in the units would also help women seeking support services such as transport to courts, medical assistance, help with interim protection orders and safe housing.
“I congratulate the PNG Government and particularly Prime Minister Peter O'Neill for his commitment to delivering anti-violence campaigns and for continuing the rollout of these units at police stations across PNG.”
Senator Carr said the new FSV units would be located at police stations in Alotau, Buka, Vanimo and Kundiawa and would open in January 2013.
The new units are in addition to existing Ausaid-funded FSV facilities in Port Moresby, Goroka, Mount Hagen, Lae, Popondetta and Kokopo which respond to around 4,400 domestic and sexual violence complaints a year.
Funding would also go towards:
- Additional training for PNG police officers in supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence;
- Funding for the Office of the Public Prosecutor to strengthen prosecution of sexual violence cases; and
- Establishing regional Liaison Officers to support domestic violence victims through the legal process.
Senator Carr said further action on domestic and sexual violence would be on the agenda for the 21st Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum in Port Moresby on Thursday December 6, 2012.
The Forum would be attended by Ministers Carr, Emerson, Bowen and Clare and their PNG counterparts. Discussions would also include progress on negotiations for an Economic Cooperation Treaty, establishment of a PNG Sovereign Wealth Fund, and cooperation on police, defence, immigration and economic development
While in PNG, Senator Carr would also meet with Australian aid workers in transport, health and education and attend commemoration ceremonies for Australian WWII personnel buried in the Bomana War Cemetery outside Port Moresby.
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