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Port Moresby
October 19, 2019
Highlands Life News

High number of rape cases in Western Highlands

By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV News, Mt Hagen The Western Highlands Province has  reported an alarming number  of rape and sexual assault cases since 2015.  Mt Hagen General Hospital’s Well Women’s Clinic  released a report that was presented during a Men’s Forum in Mt Hagen hosted by FHi360 a non government organization. The Well Women’s Clinic reports revealed that in year 2015, 223 women and girls came to them for help after they were sexually assaulted. The figure dropped to 200 new cases in 2016 and 230 in 2017. What’s even more disturbing is that the data shows that many children in Western Highlands Province are victims of rape and sexual assault cases every year – most victims are of ages 4 to 18 years. Sister Dolyn Kiaka from the Well Women’s Clinic has called on the Government to stop compensation payments which communities opt for instead of jail time. She said compensation payments have discouraged survivors from visiting available services to help themselves. As a way forward, the Mt Hagen Community Policing, Officer in Charge, Susan Mondiai, says community policing should be the focus of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to address law and order at the community level. Mt Hagen senior resident magistrate, Betty Jacobs, says there is a need for more proactive measures and tougher penalties to be imposed on rape charges. Jacobs said physical assault cases have reduced in Western Highlands Province due to tougher penalties to the abusers. FHi360 have gathered churches, NGO’s, authorities and community leaders in the province to discuss ways to address the high number of gender based violence in the Province and ways to minimise it.]]>

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