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Family and sexual violence (FSV) is a complex and very serious issue across the world. It mostly affects women and girls in every country; there is not one place anywhere which is free of this type of violence.

The World Health Organisation estimates that globally, around 30% of women experience FSV.  In PNG, the Demographic Health Survey of 2016 suggested that around 58% of women in PNG experienced FSV at some stage in their lives.

FSV disrupts education, employment, economic independence, and shatters families and communities.  It also costs lots of money in health, justice, and human services support, and has a direct impact on businesses.

Oil Search Foundation (OSF) Chief of Programs, Jean Martin said, “since 2016, we have had an active program to address FSV, this includes community and workplace education and supporting local referral pathways.  More recently we have been project managing Bel isi PNG, the Port Moresby based innovative partnership between government, civil society, and the private sector to provide services to women experiencing FSV.”

“But one of our most significant contributions has been assistance to the Family Support Centre (FSC) in Tari. We have partnered with the Hela Provincial Health Authority (HPHA) since 2016 to address FSV. HPHA has had outstanding success in increasing access to services for family and sexual violence survivors and over the past two years has quadrupled the number of people receiving support for FSV. We are very proud to have supported this accomplishment of the HPHA and Hela Community adds Martin.

Family Support Centres are funded by the PNG Government and are the health system’s response to assisting survivors. They work closely with the Police to provide reports, support people through legal processes, and facilitate counselling and other referrals needed by survivors.

“I became passionate about expanding the FSC service to other Districts Hospitals, Health Centres and Sub Health centres. I saw many women and girls accessing the Tari FSC who were from remote communities. These women had been enduring years of abuse because there was no one to go to locally.”
- Sr Clare Lembo Officer in Charge of Hela FSC