Published on September 1, 2015

Supporting survivors of violence in PNG to find safety

By Ashlee Betteridge

For women experiencing family or sexual violence in Papua New Guinea, sometimes moving away from the violence is the best available option.

In a story published on the Femili PNG website this week, Kath Taplin looks at Femili PNG’s challenging work supporting survivors to find safer places to live.

It’s not as simple as packing bags and leaving–both case workers and their clients must ask and address some tough questions.

As Kath writes:

“When a client expresses a wish to go home, or to find somewhere else to live far away from violence, there is much work to be done and some hard questions to answer. There is no such thing as a ‘simple plan’… Since each case is different, case workers talk with the client and help them to explore their reasoning. They offer themselves up as an experienced sounding board, while their client thinks through sometimes difficult options. Case workers ask the questions the survivor – in most cases a woman – must answer. If she talks of relocating to Port Moresby, the case worker will check awareness of the cost of day-to-day life, i.e. exorbitant. If the survivor talks of moving to a village, the case worker asks who she knows there. Case workers put straightforward, but often hard-to-answer questions to their clients: Where will you sleep, and how will you make some money? How will you feed your children?”

For more details on how survivors of violence are practically supported to relocate, through family tracing, collaboration with partners and the building of support networks, read the full story.

There’s also some helpful definitions of the terms relocation, repatriation and reintegration, which are commonly used among those working with survivors of violence, yet sometimes misunderstood.

Femili PNG recently marked its one year anniversary of providing integrated case management services in Lae. Read more about the anniversary and its work on the website, or stay in the loop by subscribing to Femili PNG’s newsletter.

About the author/s

Ashlee Betteridge
Ashlee Betteridge was the Manager of the Development Policy Centre until April 2021. She was previously a Research Officer at the centre from 2013-2017. A former journalist, she holds a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) from ANU and has development experience in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. She now works as a development consultant.

Date downloaded: September 18, 2021
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