It's hoped that a new Bill that has been endorsed by Cabinet will help reduce the rate of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea.
All forms of domestic violence are set to become criminal offences in PNG under the Family Protection Bill, which would also provide for family protection orders.
The former cabinet minister Dame Carol Kidu says the Bill has been in the pipeline for years and originated from a constitutional law reform commission inquiry into domestic violence.
Dame Carol says current laws state that domestic violence is a crime but she says police are often reluctant to lay charges when a complaint is registered against a family member.
"This strengthens the whole situation so that the police can no longer avoid prosecuting these cases that come before them and probably that's one of the main advantages this is now being very specific so that police and other authorities cannot say 'well this is something belonging to the family'."
The Bill still has to be passed by parliament.