22 Apr 2013

New family and sexual violence units to encourage PNG women to report crimes

2:49 pm on 22 April 2013

The police in Papua New Guinea's West Sepik Province say they hope a new Family and Sexual Violence Unit will encourage women to report such crimes.

The new centre at the Vanimo Police Station is a joint project between the governments of PNG and Australia.

The Coordinator of Family and Sexual Violence Units in the police force, Chief Inspector David Kila says family and gender based violence is a serious issue but women don't feel safe reporting such crimes due to cultural barriers.

He says the new unit is aimed at giving women an outlet to come forward.

"We'll tell the women that it is safe or okay for them to report any violence against them. And also the non government organisations who were present at our opening, have shown indication that they will try to help the women come to the station. That is if they want to come and report it to the police."

David Kila says another six family and sexual violence units will be established in other provinces this year.