John, a new father, came forward to seek help in late 2019. He grew up watching violence being perpetrated and the effects of which has impacted his behaviour towards his young family. He said the constant reminders on Bel isi PNG services and awareness on family sexual violence made him realise that he needed help.
“The feeling of responsibility as a man and questioning myself on whether I was doing enough to break the cycle bothered me. I had to accept that my behaviour was not something I wanted my son to learn,” John shared.
“I have also learnt to deal with my ego and pride by listening more and being more present in my family’s life. I have yet to navigate through life but I am hoping when challenged, as a good father and a good man, I am able to be fair and provide support in looking after my son equally as my partner.”
When asked what he would like his son to remember him as, John replied, “I want my son to remember me as a loving father to his mother, also a father who treated his mother right and cared for him and his mother.”
John further added that it is not easy to admit when you need help and seek the required support and help, especially if you are a man.
“I hope this story will serve as a beacon for men who may be lacking the courage to reach out and seek help early,” said John.
With the various help John has sought from mentors and counsellors, he is determined to become a better man and respect everyone regardless of gender. He is grateful for a safe space BSP has created where no matter who seeks help under the Group Family Sexual Violence Policy, no one is judged and everyone is provided the help they seek.
His story comes at a time when BSP is running its largest social justice awareness campaign #BlackThursdays where staff are wearing black for the third Thursday this month. The campaign is standing in solidarity against family and sexual violence and gender-based violence.