Port Moresby says NO to family violence

Since 2018, the Rotary Club of Port Moresby (RCPM) has been running a campaign titled #SayNO2familyviolence, a campaign aimed at reducing incidents of family violence and developing Port Moresby and Central Province into a thriving, safe and healthy place to live and work.

At a practical level, the #SayNO2familyviolence campaign means equipping the community with skills to understand and meet the challenges of violence, and to encourage victims and perpetrators to seek help, with a longer-term goal of transforming attitudes and behaviours toward offending, condoning, tolerating, and ignoring family violence.

The PNG #SayNO2familyviolence campaign was modelled on the Rotary Club of Maryborough’s campaign in Victoria.

PICTURED: The official opening of Kwikila Office and Transit Centre, which includes dedicated offices and interview rooms, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms.

RCPM formed a partnership with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Family Sexual Violence Unit (RPNGC FSVU) and The Papua New Guinea – Australian Policing Partnership (PNG – APP otherwise known as the AFP), who identified the lack of office space for victims to meet with police to make reports of FSV as an urgent priority.

RCPM’s first project was to deliver a dedicated office space at Downtown (Port Moresby) Police Station, providing victims a safe and private space to meet with the FSVU officers. This project included funding the purchase of a 40-foot shipping container and having it refurbished into an office. RCPM also constructed a hauswin (pergola). The total cost of this project completed in 2018 was K150,000.

RCPM has since provided a further four independent RPNGC FSVU offices in Port Moresby and Central Province, including a purpose-built office and transit centre at Kwikila, which is about two hours outside Port Moresby.

The Kwikila Office and Transit Centre project commenced in 2020, however, work stalled due to the pandemic. The centre was officially opened in late 2022. RCPM contributed K100,000 towards the total cost for the project, which was K250,000. The remaining funds were provided by the Papua New Guinea Australia Policing Partnership, Parkinson Pacific Foundation, Ela Motors, and the Rotary Club of Blackwood, SA.

RCPM also secured playground equipment through Rotary Overseas Relocated Playgrounds (RORP), with equipment installed at the FSVU offices, to occupy waiting children.

RCPM’s campaign has also included educational awareness through schools, villages and settlements in Port Moresby and Central Province, and is currently taking steps to ensure it remains a viable project. This may include further consultation with the Rotary Club of Maryborough, with RCPM members keen for them to visit PNG and see the project firsthand.