Lack of resources hinders efforts to address child abuse: Officer

The lack of resources at the Family Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU) under the police department is a hindrance to effectively addressing child abuse cases in Papua New Guinea.

This is one of the challenges faced in Lae by front line child protection service provider Femili PNG.

Femili PNG operations manager Denga Illave said the delay in the submission of files and witness statement from respective stakeholders to the court is mainly due to lack of logistics.

Illave reported that at the moment in Lae, there are only two sexual offense squad offices responding to both child abuse cases and the general sexual abuse cases in Morobe Province.

With the high number of abuse cases that get reported to the police and with all the paperwork that needs to be done, this delays the submission of files to the courts, says Illave.

The courts cannot keep the perpetrators as they have their rights as well, so when the files are not submitted on time, they’re released on bail.

“When they’re released, it is very difficult to capture them back into the system to get the case back in prosecuting them.

“I see that there are many committed police officers under the FSVU,” she says. However, they lack resources.

She adds that there’s a need for more sexual offense squad officers to be assigned to the FSVU to address the issue.

Femili PNG provides effective client services and fosters strong partnerships to address family and sexual violence in PNG.

It works with clients, partners and communities to improve responses to family and sexual violence through its case management, partner support, training, monitoring, research and advocacy.

Quintina Naime