5 Sep 2006

PNG government told it must act to stop violence against women

7:51 pm on 5 September 2006

Amnesty International says violence against women in Papua New Guinea has become endemic and is impeding national development and the struggle to contain the spread of HIVAids.

The Asia Pacific Director of Amnesty International, Purna Sen, says, in compiling a report called "Violence Against Women is Not Inevitable, Not Acceptable,' they heard grim accounts of the level of abuse and the community's tolerance of it.

She says the government needs to give out a very clear message that this is not acceptable, and it must act when the country's laws are breached.

"That is not the case now - much more training of police, or core officers, public awareness programmes, seriously making public services accessible for women, delivering the promise of justice, not just making it hollow. Many, many, operational things, having more women in police stations, you know, those are the first places that women go to seek help, but women aren't getting any further because they aren't safe."

Purna Sen of Amnesty International.