When Linda met James, she was happy and looking forward to a future with the man she loved. However, she began to have doubts when James’ behaviour towards her started to change. Starting with swearing, punching and degrading comments his treatment of her became progressively worse.
For six long years she endured the pain and suffering with no reliable options for help. She had reported the matter to the police several times but with no results and she gave up going to them. She began turning up to work with black eyes, a result of being punched violently in the face and bruised skin. ‘ Linda’s boss was worried about her and encouraged her to seek help. But after her experience with the police she had no confidence to go back to them.
It was at a Bel isi awareness session conducted at her office that Linda found out more about a service that could provide assistance for her, as a survivor of family and sexual violence. Linda’s company had subscribed to Bel isi PNG after observing and being very concerned about high rates of violence and absenteeism among staff who they knew off who were going through difficult times. With the support of her senior management team, they were able to register Linda’s case at the Bel isi PNG Case Management Centre, operated by Femili PNG, to get a restraining and protection order.
Linda’s husband was called to stand in front of the court and warned if he continued to abuse her he would face charges that could see him in prison.
“Mi lukim planti man na meri experiensim dispela hevi na mi hamamas long helpim Bel isi givim mi. Nau mi save helpim givim toktok na long ol narapela long helpim ol tu.” I see a lot of women and men going through this problem and I am grateful for the support Bel isi PNG has provided me. Now I talk to others and hope sharing my experience helps them.
Linda is still living with her husband and since her protection order he has stopped abusing her and is more respectful.
NB: Names have been changed.
The Bel isi initiative is an innovative public private partnership between Papua New Guinean and international businesses, the National Capital District Commission and is supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea, Oil Search, Bank of South Pacific and Steamships Trading Co.