High profile rugby player and brave domestic abuse survivor Debbie Kaore has gone public about a vicious assault on her this month by her partner, highlighting the issue of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea.
ChildFund Papua New Guinea and the CIMC- Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (FSVAC) is calling for a zero tolerance approach to family violence, following the recent attack against international rugby player, boxer and boxing trainer Debbie Kaore.
Debbie hopes by going public that she will encourage other woman to speak up too.
"I know there are a lot of Papua New Guinean women out there that are going through the same thing, they need to be strong; they need to get out — do what is right for you, your life matters," says Debbie.
Domestic violence is a major issue in Papua New Guinea. In 2015, ChildFund PNG, in partnership with CIMC (FSVAC) and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's New Zealand Aid Programme, established the country’s first ever family and sexual violence counselling helpline- 1-Tok Kaunseling Helpline Lain. It operates in Port Moresby and provides national coverage for survivors.
"Debbie has shown immense courage and resolve in reporting the violence she experienced from her partner. As a young leader and role model, her commitment to sharing her story publicly is a powerful way to draw attention to what is an endemic issue in PNG," says ChildFund PNG Country Director Bridgette Thorold
Recent statements have also been issued by Prime Minister James Marape the Governor of National Capital District Powes Parkop, PNG Olympic Committee and the Armed Forces condemning violence and calling for behaviour change within PNG.
"Strong leadership is vital if we are to see action taken against perpetrators, and a culture of zero tolerance to violence prevail. This must be accompanied by continued government commitment to the resourcing of services which both prevent and respond to violence against women and children."
ChildFund and FSVAC continue to implement programs and services which address the causes of violence; build the capacity of the legal system, and strengthen the services available to survivors.
"We all have a part to play in building a safer community for the women and children of Papua New Guinea, and in upholding their right to live safe from harm."
ChildFund New Zealand is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its NZ Aid Programme, on improving futures for children, their families and their communities in the Pacific.