By Colleen Barilae – EM TV News, Lae
Stakeholders in the fight against family and sexual violence have identified that women withdraw their family and sexual violence cases before they are taken to court.
It comes following survivors refusing to take their cases further to the after being medically treated at Lae’s Family Support Centre.
A small audience of men and women turned up at Lae’s Bahai Centre at Two Mile to witness a family violence awareness session on Saturday.
The focus of the discussion was on the problems women encounter when faced with family and sexual violence.
Angau Hospital’s Family Support Centre Medical Officer in Charge, Dr. Lincoln Menda, said many women live with family and sexual violence without reporting it, as they see themselves subordinate to their husbands.
“One of our biggest problems we are facing, because the men, in many cases in the cities and towns are the breadwinners, they think they have the right to abuse the women, their wives their children”, Dr. Menda said.
In most cases, Menda said women fear losing their husbands, especially when men are the sole providers of their family.
Lae’s Family Support Centre records over 10 cases of family and sexual violence each a day.
A lot of these cases involve survivors who stop short of taking their cases through the legal system after help is provided at medical support centers.
“At the end of so much effort being put in, a lot of our mothers are withdrawing, and it is frustrating for the legal system and the medical system”, Dr. Menda explained.
The medical system needs to encourage women and children to make use of the avenues and services available.