16 May 2013
Speech by Australian High Commissioner Ms Deborah Stokes at the 'Haus Krai' Condemning Violence Against Women
15 May 2013
I am pleased to be here today to demonstrate Australia’s solidarity with the men and women of Papua New Guinea who are speaking out against violence against women.
The people of Australia stand in solidarity with all of you today, and those who are taking part in similar Haus Krai events around the globe, to condemn all acts of violence against women.
Violence against women is an issue that affects all countries and all cultures.
It affects families, men and women and boys and girls. It affects communities and workplaces.
All citizens and all of our organisations – including businesses, sporting clubs, schools, the media and parliaments – have a vital role in saying no to violence against women.
I welcome the PNG Government’s commitment to ending violence against women, including through the Family Protection Bill.
Australia is committed to helping PNG in its efforts to end violence against women.
We have a strong focus in our development partnership on the prevention of family and sexual violence, and on access to justice for survivors.
Our aid program also has a strong focus on improving education opportunities for girls.
During her visit to PNG, Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, launched the PNG Women in Business initiative. This establishes a mentoring program for women and helps businesses to tackle violence against women.
Australia also provides support to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to strengthen its ability to combat all forms of gender-based violence.
We have worked with PNG to increase the number of family and sexual violence units established in police stations to facilitate improved police and prosecutor support to victims of sexual violence.
Over the past three years, 19,600 victims have accessed specialist police support in eight police Family and Sexual Violence Units. Another four units will be opened this year.
And under the next phase of the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership, Australian Federal Police will assist the modernisation and reform of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, to better equip the force to make PNG a safer place for women and men.
I wish to conclude by congratulating those who initiated this event.
I also congratulate those who are participating.
Through your participation, we can see that there is a powerful movement for change underway in Papua New Guinea.
Australia extends its full support for your courage and leadership.