A Family Support Centre in Mt Hagen revealed data showing an alarming rate of sexual violence cases in Western Highlands Province.
This data indicates that 61 per cent of rape cases in 2015 had occurred to children between the ages of 1 and 9.
The Centre, Well Women’s Clinic, predicts an increase in gender based violence cases this year, as a result of the elections.
Sister Edith Namba from the Well Women’s Clinic, an arm of Mt Hagen General Hospital, presented these figures at a Men’s Forum, hosted by Family Health International or FHI 360, in Mt Hagen yesterday.
Namba told the attendees, who were mostly men, that Western Highlands Province has alarming cases of gender based violence.
In 2015, there were 223 rape cases reported to the clinic, children and girls between the ages of 1 and 9 are the most vulnerable and of the 223 rape cases, 12 were males who had survived sexual penetration and assault.
FHI 360, an International Organization which focuses on family health, hosted the forum for men to discuss issues around Gender-Based Violence, and how to solve or reduce the number of GBV cases.
Discussions yesterday included the safety of women, girls and children during the National Election.
Many of the attendees discouraged the practice of having campaign houses as a lot of unwanted and at times, illegal activities occur there.
Some safety measures for women and girls during this election season is for them to stay with their families, and not to get involved in politics.
The Family and Support Centre, and Mt Hagen Police Station have also received complaints from husbands that they were being abused by their wives.
Police are urging women to respect their husbands.
Meanwhile, the hospital says there is currently a shortage of condoms, urging the public to practice additional family planning methods and or protecting themselves against sexually transmitted infections.