Leading the fight against FSV

Police officers in provincial areas are providing increasingly effective services for survivors of family and sexual violence (FSV) under the training and guidance of senior colleagues.

Earlier this year, senior Family and Sexual Violence Unit (FSVU) police officers attended training on responding to complaints of family and sexual violence. The training increased awareness of challenges faced by survivors, the manipulation and control tactics used by offenders, and how police should respond.

Following the training, senior FSVU officers, including Senior Constable Joyce Nii from Banz Police Station, Constable Newman Limbao of the Chinatown FSVU in Lae, Sergeant Betty Kanari of the Popondetta FSVU, Senior Sergeant Ruth Murup from Morobe and Sergeant Judy Girua of the Goroko FSVU, travelled to the Highlands to mentor local FSVU staff and pass on these skills.

This innovative RPNGC training and mentoring program, supported by the PNG-Australia Partnership, has had an immediate impact on the ability of local FSVU police to investigate and respond to FSV complaints and support survivors.

Since the training, participants have been putting what they learnt in action with practical results. Senior Constable Nii drew on what she learnt at the training to successfully execute her first arrest for family violence.

The perpetrator was subsequently found guilty and placed on a three-year good behaviour bond.

Additionally, in a single day in May, officers from the local FSVU in Kundiawa responded to eight complaints, four of them involving allegations of FSV. Supported by mentoring from the senior officers, the FSVU officers took statements and provided referrals to the nearby Family Support Centre for further support.

Further, Senior Sergeant  Murup mentored officers in both Minj and Banz to better support survivors. Murup said FSVU officers at Minj and Banz were incorporating improved practices in their work, including filling out daily intake forms, following up on cases and establishing links with external support organisations like Voices for Change (a women’s human rights organisation).

“The two members from Minj [FSVU] are new and learning at the same time,” Senior Sergeant Murup said.

“After attending the training, Constable Rose Philip managed to issue her first Interim Protection Order with the help of the mentors, providing immediate protection and support to the survivor.”

The Australian government, through the PNG-Australia Partnership, has provided sustained support for the professional development of senior FSVU officers, including assisting with the delivery of the Goroka workshop.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing family or sexual violence, call the 1-Tok Kaunsellin Helpim Lain on 7150 8000 (24 hours, 7 days).

(Senior Sergeant Ruth Murup providing gender awareness training for 320 auxiliary police recruits in Minj)

Press release