28 Mar 2012

New attitudes, not law changes, the key to solving violence against women in PNG

2:58 pm on 28 March 2012

A Catholic priest in Papua New Guinea who teaches anger management says changing the way people think is one of the keys to overcoming the pervasive levels of domestic violence in the country.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, visited PNG briefly earlier this month.

She says two thirds of women there have experienced domestic violence and laws need to be modified or new ones put in place to combat the problem.

Father Philip Gibbs says law changes are one thing but implementation is another given that the police force is really stretched.

"And also many of the police are not really trained or don't really have an attitude that's conducive to peaceful solutions to problems. They can come in pretty strongly and pretty hard sometimes and can get rather violent themselves. So it is more a matter of how to influence the way people are going to think and that comes into the sort of work I do for instance in terms of anger management."