More awareness needed around PNG's family and sexual violence units: police

Updated at 9:37 am on 6 December 2012

A top Papua New Guinea police officer says not enough people know there are units dedicated to supporting women with complaints of family and sexual violence.

The comment follows Australia's announcement of almost 400-thousand dollars of funding for four new family and sexual violence units, in addition to the six that were set up with Aus-aid money two years ago.

PNG suffers the region's worst levels of family violence and rape, with most women having experienced some form of domestic violence and 60 percent of men reporting having taken part in a gang rape.

But the head of the sexual offence squad, Detective Senior Sergeant Tinol Pakiapon, says each month the three Port Moresby family and sexual violence units only process about 20 cases.

"Some people are still not aware even though we're creating awareness on the radio, we're going around into the communities telling them about the kind of services provided by police, most go back to their civilian police stations and most of them are not referred to these specific centres for help."

Detective Senior Sergeant Tinol Pakiapon, says one of the biggest obstacles is reassuring women that they won't also be abused at the police station.

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