Governor expresses disbelief at young woman’s killing

NCD Governor Powes Parkop has expressed disbelief at the recent killing of a young woman, allegedly at the hands of her partner.

The story was widely spread on social media yesterday (June 24th) after the Port Moresby General Hospital head of emergency, Dr Sam Yockopua, highlighted the bruises and fractures she suffered before her death on the night of June 23rd.

Dr Yockopua said: “It was obvious that she had been tied forcefully, her hands and feet showed all features suggesting how strongly the ropes were tied to the back.

“Rope imprints were visible, skin peeled off and cut inwards. Whip marks, skin cuts, bruises, scratches, fractures, you name it – yes, they were all there from head to toe.

“Her huge bulging at the back of her head due to blood collection suggested the head beating she agonizingly sustained. She must have asked him to speed it up but he took his time. The black eyes on both sides (raccoons’ eyes) and blood collection at the back of the ears (battle’s sign) suggesting basal skull fracture.”

Governor Parkop, in response to the brutal killing of Jenelyn Kennedy, said no amount of excuse can justify violence or death.

“We are all shocked and grieving once again at this senseless killing,” he stated.

“Sadly, it is becoming too much and too many. It has reached a crisis level in both prevalence and intensity of violence, yet no real action is being taken at the national level to address this crisis that not only affects the lives of women and girls of our country but also the entire development and progress of our country.

“In the recent June session of Parliament, I had prepared the following questions to raise on the floor of Parliament to the Prime Minister. I had advised and sent the questions to the Prime Minister. I could not raise the questions in Parliament because the Speaker never allowed me an opportunity to ask the questions during Question Time for the entire last week of the recent Session of Parliament.

“I intend to follow up on these questions with the Prime Minister so real actions to stop and end this crisis can start. We grieve and condemn but unless we take real action, not much will change for women and girls of our country. All the development goals of the country will equally fail.”

The Governor’s questions were:

  1. Will Govt consider funding the Strategic Plan Response to and deal with gender-based violence? Can we match the EU who have allocated £19 million for the Spotlight Initiative that is targeted at GBV;
  2. Will Govt consider invoking the provision of the Constitution on Reserve Seats so we can have women leaders come to Parliament to push agendas that promote the status of women, including addressing GBV;
  3. Would the Government also consider setting up the Commission on the Status of Women to address impediment to advancement of women in our country;
  4. Can you direct the Minister for Education to get NICTA to investigate and prosecute men and boys involved in cyber bullying, especially against women, and;
  5. Can you direct the Minister for Education to get the Department to incorporate in the school curriculum anti-bullying, harassment and teaching the children anti-violence strategies and GBV prevention in schools.

Governor Parkop outlined that there is a strategic plan to respond to and deal with GBV, which was adopted by NEC and launched in 2016.

“This plan was designed with many stakeholders in PNG, especially women and the United Nations organisations. This plan needs to be funded and implemented without delay. It also needs to be revised and updated so it addresses importantly, behaviour and attitude of men and boys of our country.

“In the city we are committed to doing more but we also need leadership at Parliament and National Government to enable us to seriously address this serious crisis in our country.

“We have been implementing the NCD Strategic Plan on GBV for the last 3 to 4 years. We have now engaged a strategic advisor to revise and improve the plan for us in partnership with UN Women.

“We will launch soon the Commission on the Status of Women at NCDC to monitor and ensure that the plan is being implemented. Currently, we are doing a survey with our staff, our program managers and contractors to create a policy against violence at work place.

“We all need to take on this major challenge together. It’s critical to our development and our country’s future.”

Press release