The cover of the edition on domestic violence.
Image via Wikipedia

Women in the country are usually afraid of coming out in public about the abuse they have endured. However, a new avenue has been launched on the social network Facebook that has seen a few women come out with their stories of abuse.

The Facebook group called PAPUA NEW GUINEANS AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE has attracted a significant number of supporters with members reaching up to nearly 3000 this morning – a day after the group was created.

Exile Kombs (Facebook nickname), a young Papua New Guinean female is the first to come out with her story of abuse by her ex-husband in Madang. In her own words:

Just want to share my story with you all of what happened to me on Tuesday (27/9/11) in Madang town. I was surprisingly bashed up by my ex-husband in town right in front of the town bus-stop. A guy who I had no contact with for 2 years.

He grabbed me by the shirt and told me to get on a bus which was nearby heading to Sisiak where Highland settlers live. I struggled and called to people for help but people stopped and stared as if they were watching a game. Poor thing the only support I had was a post which I grabbed onto with both hands as hard as I could because he was pulling my hands and hitting it so hard, just to get me into the bus.

The crowd just stood around and watched happily screaming “skulim em ya (teach her)”. Anyway to cut the story short, a Guard Dog car came by and I ran over to ask for help to take me to the police station but the driver told me, “em wok blong Police ino mipla (that’s a job for the police, not us)” and drove on.

We preach No violence again Woman and yet in broad daylight and in the heart of town, people just stood and watched, street boys were only waiting for my belonging to fall so they could get what they want, and in fact they did exactly that…Till now I don’t feel safe to go to town even in broad daylight!!!

Another female, Elizabeth Boio Pongi applauded the group and gave her experience of domestic violence.

A cause so very close to my heart. As a witness/survivor of domestic violence I applaud the creators/administrators of this page for the initiative taken. Having lived most of my childhood in a home where DV was a daily occurrence, many of your stories brought back painful memories that still manage to bring a tear to my eye almost 20 years later.

The most painful memory for me is the ignorance, the refusal by many to assist my mum despite her many cries for help while she was being abused by my father.

My mother managed to stay with him long enough for us to be old enough to understand why she needed to leave before she finally left. Her stand has in many ways instilled in me the belief that no matter what the circumstance/reason NO MAN HAS THE RIGHT TO HIT ME! This belief I am passing on to my son & daughter and my colleagues who come to work with bruises, my relatives who greet me with black eyes & my neighbour who’s screams I hear late at night.

My hope is for us to be a society that is intolerant of this evil & I will be supportive of any petitions/events organised by this forum. We must make a bold, loud message that abuse in any form is not acceptable! With almost 3,000 members in this group how many more people can each of us influence in our everyday lives?

Even vibrant PNG men have shown their support for the women. Scott Waide boldly puts his views of violent men in the form of a poem.

WIFE BASHER’S CLUB: JOIN THE CAUSE [poem]
Punch her in the gut and it won’t show
Black an eye out and they will know
You’re the man of the house for sure
Box her and throw her out the door

Kick her in the ribs and kick her hard
And do make sure that she is off guard
Smash a few cups or plates or what’s left
Hit her once more to show her you’re deft

Come home drunk at twelve one or two
Dry slap the kids and kick the dog too
Let the mates know the wife she’s a bitch
All you want’s a girl to make you smile

For a six or two they’ll say you’re right
They’re part of a cause the wives they fight
“Save it” they rave ‘bout the ways of old
Please do help them in this cause so bold

It is apparent that a vast majority of Papua New Guineans are sick and tired of witnessing domestic violence. Some people argue that it is a part of our culture – it’s not! If anything it was highly scorned in our so called primitive society. Yet it is practiced by our so called highly educated and elites and worse, is our own ignorance, which becomes in avertedly a condoning of violence.

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