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PNG Prime Minister condemn acts of violence against women

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has condemned acts of violence against women, saying a man is a coward if he thinks it is right to hit a woman.

He also called on community and church leaders not to turn a blind eye to violence against women.

O’Neill Wednesday responded to the recent public outcry over the increasing acts of violence against women, re-ignited this week by the death of Post Courier journalist Rosalyn Albaniel Evara who her family claimed was a victim of violence.

Evara’s funeral on Tuesday had to be cancelled after a court order was issued by the coroner to have a proper autopsy conducted on her. The autopsy was conducted yesterday by Dr Seth Fose. The cause of her death is expected to be revealed in two weeks’ time. Her death on Oct 15 is also being investigated by the police.

O’Neill called on the people to “stand up against any act of violence against women”, and for men to protect their mothers, daughters and sisters.

“A man is a coward if he thinks it is ok to hit a woman. These abusers would not have the courage to hit a man who was bigger than they are, but they (would) hit a woman who is smaller,” he said.

“We have enacted laws to prevent violence against women. But no government in any country can stop violence against women without the active support of communities.

“There must be zero tolerance in our nation for violence against women, and community leaders must do more to help victims rather than supporting perpetrators.

“Every human life matters and must be protected, and domestic violence is totally unacceptable.”

O’Neill said any community or church leader who turned a blind eye “to even a single case of violence against women has let the people down, and has abandoned Christian principles our nation holds dear”.

He called on men in families to take a stand against any violence they see.

He told “sons” that “if your father beats your mother, you have to show that you are a man and stand up for your mother”.

“Your mother gave you life. Now you must protect her life and show gratitude for her commitment to you,” he said.

“The same goes for all the men – brothers, uncles and other male family members. Do not turn a blind eye.”

O’Neill said the Government would increase public awareness to prevent domestic violence. “This will be undertaken alongside the commitment of increased resources for police and courts to deal with violent men, as well as increased support for the victims of violence.”...

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