Don’t just stand and watch!

President of the PNG Counsellor’s Association has strongly appealed to Papua New Guineans to leap into action when witnessing gender-based violence.

Susan Setae made the call following the tragic death of 26-year-old Central woman, Grace Gavera, who was allegedly beaten to death by her boyfriend.

Gavera, who worked at the Accounts section of the Education Department, was rushed to the Port Moresby General Hospital last week after sustaining injuries from an alleged beating.

According to police reports, her boyfriend, from Hela Province, allegedly followed her there and took her out of the hospital, where he allegedly continued to assault her until she died.

A public outcry ensued and among those raising their voices were family and sexual violence advocates, including PNG Counsellor’s Association president, Susan Setae.

Setae said Papua New Guineans are known for their compassion but yet, when the late Gavera needed help, there was no Good Samaritan around.

“Papua New Guinea we are caring people, what is happening to us? Why are we giving a blind eye to what’s happening?

“We cannot blame the police, we all must take responsibility of what is happening.

“We may put money into all these programs to prevent (GBV) but prevention can only come if you and I take responsibility.

“Grace would not have died on her own soil if Papuans who were standing there had rescued her. And we are all cowards when it comes to rescuing people who are in trouble,” stated Setae.

Meantime, the Executive Director of the Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, recently said not only is this a family and national tragedy, but also a national development issue.

“PNG simply cannot develop economically and socially until it recognises and safeguards the rights of women to make their own decisions and ensures their safety by the community, including through an effective and responsive police and justice system.”

(President of the PNG Counsellor’s Association, Susan Setae)

Carmella Gware