Violence Forum Held in Eastern Highlands Province Successful

Nothing you have done is your fault.

This is the message that a visiting speaker at the recent Papua New Guinea Women’s Forum held in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, is passing on to women who are suffering from domestic violence and abuse. Kate Hansen, a Communications Specialist made the comment in light of the recent incident involving the death of former Miss South Pacific Ruby Laufa last weekend.

“That’s (incident) awful and my heart goes out to her and her family, it’s devastating.

“I would say (to women) that nothing you’ve done is your fault.

“I think it can be excruciatingly difficult to know that and to seek help because we see a cycle of violence where a lot of women feel very trapped, maybe financially and economically, they don’t want to leave children or families. And so there are all kinds of very, very real barriers to getting help and to breaking out of an abusive situation.

“I would entreat them (women) to seek help and assistance when they are ready to.

“But try to remember that nothing that they’ve done warrants it (violence and abuse) and that real love doesn’t hurt.

“Nobody deserves to be brutalised,” she stressed.

Ms Hansen previously worked with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in the United States where she became interested in advocacy work.

“I know there are a lot of amazing organisations that are doing work to address this, community by community.

“I think that the women I’ve met in PNG are very aware of what they want to try to solve for themselves and for others and successive generations.

“I really applaud the work that’s been done in that front and I hope it continues,” she said.

Post-Courier Online Leonie Wayang February 15, 2017, 2.09 am

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